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Japan orders over 1 million to evacuate Kyushu after heavy rains hit island

Japanese authorities ordered more than 1 million people to evacuate 3 cities in Kagoshima Prefecture on the island of Kyushu on Wednesday, as heavy rains threatened to trigger flooding and landslides, the Japan Times reports.

The big picture: Nearly 40 inches of rain have fallen in parts of southern Kyushu since Friday, per Reuters. Forecasters warn as much as 14 inches could still fall there through Thursday. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe put the military on standby for rescues. His government was criticized last year for a slow response to heavy rains that caused landslides and floods that killed more than 200 people, Reuters notes.