Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Japan says death toll from floods climbs to 100

Dozens dead and missing as 'historic rains' and floods hit Japan More than one million at risk as heavy rains hammer Japan
Leonard Rios | 09 July, 2018, 09:29

The death toll from record downpours in Japan jumped to 100, according to Japan's government.

By this morning, one part of the main island of Honshu had been hit with twice the total amount of rain for a normal July.

Help on the way in Okayama prefecture on Sunday.

In the city of Hiroshima, one of the hardest hit areas, search and rescue operations continued on July 9, including the Umego housing complex in Aki Ward where mudslides devastated numerous buildings.

Shinzo Abe, the prime minister, has set up an emergency response centre and described rescue operations to locate the missing and save those cut off by floodwaters as "a race against time". 'The rescue teams are doing their utmost'.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said three hours of rainfall in one area in Kochi prefecture reached an accumulated 26.3 centimetres, the highest since such records started in 1976.

At least 60 people have died in Japan as the country is battered by the worst rains and flooding in the country's history.

Further rain warnings are in effect, with more than 250mm predicted to fall in some areas by Monday.

A picture shows cars trapped in the mud after floods in Saka, Hiroshima prefecture. "If the water level drops low enough, they may be able to access hard-hit areas by road or on foot", a spokeswoman at the area's disaster control office said.

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In the town of Kumano in Hiroshima prefecture, rescue workers were still digging through the dirt of a landslide that enveloped homes over the weekend, crushing some into little more than scrap wood.

Residents flee a flooded area in Kurashiki, Okayama prefecture on Sunday. Military paddle boats were also being used to take people to dry land.

The Okayama prefecture said three people had died, six others were missing and seven were injured, while almost 500 were flooded.

Several dozen Mihara residents ventured down from shelters on Sunday to inspect the damage to their homes in the Hongo district of the city, where many locals are rice farmers.

At least 4 million people have been advised to evacuate surrounding areas.

Searches and cleanup efforts were taking place in the southwestern region where several days of heavy rainfall set off flooding and landslides in a widespread area.

More than 50,000 of Japan's police, fire, and self-defense forces are trying to get to thousands who are waiting to be rescued in prefectures such as Hiroshima and Okayama, where rainfall has been the heaviest. People have also taken to social media to plead for help.

Among the dead were a man who fell from a bridge into a river in the western city of Hiroshima, and a 77-year-old man in Takashima, about 56 kilometres east of Kyoto, who was swept into a canal as he worked to remove debris, NHK said.

A couple was found dead in a farmhouse buried in a mudslide in Kagoshima prefecture Monday, while earlier a woman who was reported as missing after getting trapped in her auto was found dead, Kyodo news service reported.

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