Rainy season begins in northern Kyushu

People in western Japan are bracing for heavy rain. The rainy season has started in northern Kyushu, and other parts of the country are facing heavy precipitation that is raising the risk of disaster.

The Meteorological Agency said on Monday that the start of the rainy season in the area comes 13 days later than usual.

Heavy rain was pounding southern Kyushu and Okinawa Prefecture. Rainy and cloudy weather is expected to continue mainly in Kyushu.

A front off Japan's Pacific coast is likely to bring thunderstorms to much of the country through Tuesday.

Bands of rainclouds may form in southern Kyushu from Monday night to Tuesday. People in Shikoku could also be facing downpours on Tuesday morning. Officials warn this could sharply raise the risk of disaster.

During the 24-hour period until noon on Tuesday, up to 300 millimeters of rain is forecast for southern Kyushu and Shikoku. The Meteorological Agency is urging caution against landslides, flooding and lightning.

People are advised to stay up to date with the latest information, including on possible evacuations.