Two people were confirmed dead as heavy rains pounded southwest Japan, prompting flood and landslide warnings, and orders for 670,000 people to seek safety. Nearly a million more people were advised to evacuate their homes after the country’s weather agency raised the alert to its highest level for parts of northern Kyushu. The JMA’s emergency warnings affect areas in Saga, Fukuoka and Nagasaki, where the severe weather has also disrupted transport, forcing the suspension of some train services and some road closures. Japanese authorities regularly urge people to take evacuation orders seriously, particularly after disastrous heavy rains last summer in Japan’s west killed more than 200 people. Many of the deaths were blamed on the fact that evacuation orders were issued too late and some people failed to follow them. Entire neighbourhoods were buried beneath landslides or submerged in floodwaters during the disasters.