Heavy rain battered a wide swathe of Japan today, sending rivers over their banks and setting off a landslide as a weakened but still dangerous storm made landfall and headed east, leaving three people dead.

Neoguri, which first threatened Japan as a super typhoon this week, had weakened to a tropical storm by the time it ploughed ashore on the westernmost main island of Kyushu. But it was still packing wind gusts of up to 126kmh (78 mph).

Heavy rains prompted the cancellation of hundreds of flights and trains and closed schools. The storm also fed into a stalled seasonal rain front, threatening flooding in distant regions.

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