Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Japan floods: Hiroshima hit by deadly deluges and landslides

Construction worker dies after being swept away by floods in Japan Hundreds of thousands evacuated in Japan as 'historic' rain falls, two dead
Steven Clarke | 07 July, 2018, 18:42

Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said another 21,000 troops were on stand-by, adding: "I instructed them to carry out rescue operations by using every possible means of land-sea-and-air forces".

Heavy rain continued to lash a wide area of western Japan on Saturday, leaving at least 37 people dead and more than 50 missing in landslides and flooding that destroyed homes and swept away cars.

Parts of Japan have been drenched in recent days by heavy rain, including from a typhoon system, and the country's meteorological agency warned Thursday of more to come.

Evacuation orders went out in some outlying parts of Kyoto, with the Kyodo news agency saying about 16,000 people were affected.

The downpour, which began Thursday, is likely to last till Sunday.

Nearly 5 million people have been told to evacuate as homes have been destroyed and cars swept away.

The deluge, triggered by the seasonal rain front, brought mudslides and flooding across widespread areas from Shiga Prefecture to the east to Fukuoka Prefecture to the west due to the slow-moving rain front.

A 52-year-old woman in Kyoto was found dead by a river on Friday, while in neighbouring Hyogo prefecture a construction worker was swept away by flood waters and died.

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Authorities have issued their highest level of alert for the rains and ordered more than 1.9 million people to evacuate their homes, mostly in western Japan.

In Motoyama, a town in Shikoku Island, 583 millimeters (23 inches) of rain fell in the 24 hours between Friday and Saturday mornings, the Meteorological Agency said.

"We recognize more than 100 cases in which people, including those hit by landslides, are in need of rescue now", Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference Saturday.

In Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, city officials said it was hard to determine how many residents were actually missing.

In Hiroshima, a woman in her 40s died in a landslide and a man found in a swollen river was confirmed dead, while another man was found dead after he called a fire station to report that a mudslide had struck his home.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency also told Reuters that the weather has caused dozens of injuries, four of which were serious.

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.

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