Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Japan floods leave at least 64 people dead and scores missing

Japan floods leave at least 64 people dead and scores missing

The death toll was put at 38 this morning by the public broadcaster NHK, with dozens more missing.

Record-breaking rain: Japan's Meteorological Agency said that three hours of rainfall in one area of Kochi prefecture had reached 26.3 centimeters (10.4 inches), so far the highest rain accumulation since 1976, when the organization began measuring rainfall.

The assessment of casualties is hard because of the widespread area affected by the rain, flooding and landslides.

CGTN's Toby Muse explains, authorities warn landslides can strike even after the rain subsides.

In Seiyo in Ehime Prefecture, five people were confirmed dead due to the torrential rain, including people swept away in a vehicle.

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In the town of Saka, Eiichi Tsuiki opted to stay in his home, and survived only by moving to the top floor as flood waters rose, washing cars away outside.

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. A lot of them were rescued by boat or helicopter.

Work crews could be seen elsewhere trying to clear multiple small landslides that coated roads in mud, rendering them virtually impassable. Japanese soldiers rescued people by boat in Hiroshima, while others were rescued from rooftops by helicopters. Military paddle boats were also being used to take people to dry land.

Most of the deaths have occurred in Hiroshima prefecture, which has been hit by torrential rain since Thursday.

At an emergency meeting to deal with the disaster at his office in Tokyo, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for all-out efforts in search and rescue.

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Yamaguchi prefecture, another area hit by the heavy rain, alerted people to heed evacuation warnings and act quickly.

Also in Ehime, two primary schoolgirls and their mother who got sucked into a mudslide were pulled out but could not be revived.

As of Saturday, at least 67 people were missing with the majority in Hiroshima, 47, while others were unaccounted for in Ehime and Okayama Prefecture.

Japanese self-defence forces personnel remove stones scattered by debris flow in Hiroshima on July 8, 2018.

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

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Information about the people at the municipal shelters is still sparse, while social media buzzes with photos and video of the disaster-stricken country. Nine homes were destroyed, dozens more were damaged, while more than 500 were flooded.

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