Japan floods kills 34, many in elderly homes

Updated: Jul 06, 2020, 08:50 IST | Agencies | Tokyo

Helicopters and boats rescued more people from their homes in the Kumamoto region. More than 40,000 defence troops, the coast guard and fire brigades were taking part in the operation

Floodwaters flow past a residential building in Qijiang District, on Sunday. Pics/AFP/AP
Floodwaters flow past a residential building in Qijiang District, on Sunday. Pics/AFP/AP

Deep floodwaters and the risk of more mudslides that left at least 34 people confirmed or presumed dead hampered search and rescue operations Sunday in southern Japan, including at elderly home facilities where more than a dozen died and scores were still stranded.

Helicopters and boats rescued more people from their homes in the Kumamoto region. More than 40,000 defence troops, the coast guard and fire brigades were taking part in the operation. Large areas along the Kuma River were swallowed by floodwaters, with many houses, buildings and vehicles submerged almost up to their roofs. Mudslides smashed into houses, sending people atop rooftops waving at rescuers.

People from a nursing home are being rescued in an inflatable boat in Kuma village
People from a nursing home are being rescued in an inflatable boat in Kuma village

At a flooded elderly care home in Kuma Village, where 14 residents were presumed dead after rescuers reached them on Saturday, rescue continued on Sunday. Sixty-five residents and about 30 caregivers were trapped at the riverside care facility Senjuen. All remaining 51 residents had been rescued by boats and taken to hospitals for treatment by Sunday afternoon, officials said. The rainfall that exceeded 4 inches per hour has since subsided.

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