Severe rainfall leaves dozens dead in Japan

Severe rainfall leaves dozens dead in Japan

Another storm, Typhoon Maria, was bearing down on outlying islands in the Okinawa chain but it had weakened from a super-typhoon and was not expected to have any impact on Japan's four main islands.

Another resident, 82-year-old Saburo Yokoyama, said he was horrified when he saw floodwater flowing just outside his house.

As night fell, rescuers continued searches, "but we still don't know if we will carry out the operation around the clock", said Akiko Harada, a spokeswoman at the disaster management section of the city of Hiroshima, where 14 people were still unaccounted for.

In Kurashiki, 2,310 people have been rescued by authorities and the search still continues.

Authorities have warned that landslides could strike even if the rainfall diminishes. "We've never experienced this kind of rain before...this is a situation of extreme danger", an official at the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) told a news conference.

At least 119 people are dead from flooding and landslides, with tens of thousands still missing and search and rescue operations now underway, the Japan Times reported.

The death toll reached at least 114, NHK public television said, with 61 people missing.

"It's not raining today but we must stay alert for the possibility of landslides", she told AFP.

People fled to rooftops and balconies in the city of Kurashiki, at the mouth of the Takahashi River, about 670 kilometers (415 miles) from Tokyo.

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They were rescued hours later, and returned to the town on Monday, where Ogawa found his telephone, filled with calls from concerned relatives and friends.

During a meeting with relief workers, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe acknowledged that the floods have driven home the need for Japan to shore up its disaster response procedures and improve its evacuation centers.

The severe rain caused rivers to overflow, in some cases covering whole towns.

"The area became an ocean", 82-year-old resident Nobue Kakumoto told AFP Sunday, surveying the scene.

Their foundations are also made of wood, which can be ideal for flexibility in the case of earthquakes, but stand little chance of withstanding the crushing pressure produced by a torrent of flood water or a massive landslide. Critical infrastructure has been hit, including railway tracks.

More than 54,000 emergency workers, police and troops have been deployed to help people, with the Self Defense Forces dispatching several planes to help airlift residents to safety. "This is a situation of extreme danger".

The Yomiuri Shimbun With the damage from record-breaking torrential rains continuing to spread in western Japan, more than 20,000 people remain stranded in Hiroshima, Ehime, Kochi and other prefectures on Wednesday, as local roads have been closed to traffic due to landslides and other reasons.

Debris fills a small village following heavy rains Sunday, July 8, 2018, in Kuchita-Minami, Asakita-ku, Hiroshima, Japan.

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