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08 July 2018, 11:00 | Devin Moran
15 dead, 50 reported missing as heavy floods hit Japan
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.
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