Heavy rains since last week have forced authorities to take thousands to safer areas in southwest China and northern Japan. Authorities said the days of continued rains have caused floods and rivers to overflow, endangering the lives of people living in low-lying areas.

In China's Sichuan province, days of rain have pushed the waters of 14 rivers to dangerous levels. State news agency Xinhua News Agency said authorities have to evacuate more than 100,000 residents in various provinces. The agency said the floods had already caused an estimated $27 million in damages to crops and property.

Flood and landslide alerts have remained in some northern parts of the Chinese province. Authorities have also activated the highest alert levels for some flood-prone areas.

The Ministry of Water Resources said it expects rainfall to be even higher this year compared to 2020. During last year's rainy season, China was hit with some of the worst flooding in the region, affecting tens of millions of people and causing billions of dollars in damage and loss.

The agency called on local governments to bolster their flood prevention efforts and for communities to prepare for heavy rain that may continue until August. The agency said the Yellow River is currently at "critical" levels.

"The flood control system (in the Yellow River Basin) is not yet complete, the dams have weak links, preventing floods on small and medium-sized rivers is difficult, and cadres and the public lack actual flood-fighting experience," the agency said Monday.

Authorities said more rain this week could result in severe flooding as water levels continue to rise. The Sichuan meteorological department warned that the Qu River could overflow if the rain persists.

In Japan, more than 120,000 residents from southern prefectures have been asked to evacuate their homes. Continued heavy rains are expected to cause further landslides, similar to the deadly one that occurred in the seaside city of Atami last week. The landslide in the resort city had killed at least nine people and about 20 people are still missing.  

The Japan Meteorological Agency raised its rain alert level to the highest in three prefectures on Kyushu Island. Local governments have already started to evacuate residents living in landslide and flood-prone areas.

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