At least 3 dead, several missing in Japan after ‘historic’ heavy rain leads to massive floods

At least three people were washed away in swollen rivers and later found dead in Hyogo, Fukuoka and Kyoto

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 07 July, 2018, 12:41am
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 July, 2018, 5:56am

Heavy rain on Japan has triggered floods and landslides, leaving at least three people dead and several missing.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said Japan has had “historic” rainfall this week and more was expected through the weekend, and it urged residents to use precautions and evacuate early to higher ground.

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Warnings for heavy rain and flooding were issued in large parts western and southern Japan.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Friday that at least three people were washed away in swollen rivers and later found dead in Hyogo, Fukuoka and Kyoto.

In Hiroshima, nine people were missing after being buried underneath a mudslide on Friday night, Kyodo News reported.

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In Nara, rescuers were searching for a man in his 60s who has not returned after going to check his rice paddies, while in Kochi, a 40-year-old man in his car was seen washed away. Two other people were also unaccounted for in Fukuoka prefecture, the agency said.

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.

Some 210,000 people were in areas subjected to evacuation orders, though only some of them usually show up at shelters, especially at night when people are advised to stay indoors.

The torrential rain was triggered by warm and humid air from the Pacific Ocean, intensifying the activity of the seasonal rain front, according to the meteorological agency.

What is left of a typhoon earlier this week also contributed to the problem, it said, cautioning of strong winds and lightning in some areas.