February 18, 2019

Japan floods and heavy rain leave 8 dead, dozens missing

08 July 2018, 11:00 | Devin Moran

15 dead, 50 reported missing as heavy floods hit Japan

'Historic' rain in Japan kills several, evacuates thousands

TOKYO Torrents of rainfall and flooding battered a widespread area in southwestern Japan on Saturday, leaving at least 15 people dead and more than 50 missing, according to Japanese media.

Flooding killed at least 48 people and forced 2 million others to flee their homes Saturday as heavy rain pounded large areas in southwestern Japan.

MOFA advised people to stay away from the prefectures of Okayama, Tottori, Hyogo and Kyoto City, where emergency warnings were still in force, but also from Hiroshima prefecture, where the warnings had been lifted by Saturday morning, according to the Japan Times.

Nine people were dead and 42 others missing as heavy rain continued to lash wide areas of the country, prompting the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) on July 7 to issue more warnings for landslides in extensive areas from western to central Japan.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp said it had halted operations at its Okayama Prefecture plant as it was unable to procure parts, while Daihatsu said it had suspended production at two plants in Osaka and Kyoto for the same reason.

"The situation is extremely serious", Shinzo Abe, the prime minister, said as he called for an "all-out" rescue effort.

Television footage showed muddy water flowing out of rivers in parts of the region, including the scenic Arashiyama area in western Kyoto where riverbanks and streets were flooded. Evacuation orders had been issued to more than 360,000 people, the prefecture said in a statement.

The agency said that although a weather front had settled between western and eastern Japan, there was a risk that heavy rains would continue as warm air flowed towards the front.

One, a 95-year-old woman, was found in her house after part of a nearby mountain collapsed. Military paddle boats were also being used to take people to dry land.

"We are carrying out rescue operations around the clock", Yoshihide Fujitani, a disaster management official in Hiroshima prefecture, told AFP.

"We are also looking after evacuees and restoring lifeline infrastructure like water and gas", he added.

Two people are missing and may have been buried in a landslide Friday morning in Fukuoka Prefecture, local police said.

"Water came to the middle of the second floor", a woman in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, wrote, posting a picture of her room half swamped by flooding. "Rescue us quickly. Help us".

Dozens of people have been killed by landslides and flash floods caused by torrential rain in Japan.

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