Japan floods, landslides kill 38
Several people die and many are missing after downpours in Hiroshima and other western areas
Torrents of rainfall and flooding battered a widespread area in southwestern Japan yesterday, with local media casualty reports climbing quickly. Public broadcaster NHK said 38 people were dead, four were injured seriously and 47 were missing. Television footage showed a residential area in Okayama prefecture seeped in brown water spreading like a huge lake. Some people fled to rooftops and balconies and waved furiously at hovering rescue helicopters.
Okayama prefecture said a man caught in a landslide died, and six others were missing. Evacuation orders had been issued to more than 3,60,000 people, the prefecture said in a statement. Throughout the affected areas, parked cars sat in pools of water. NHK TV said water had reached as high as 16 feet in the worst-hit areas. Kyodo news service, which put the death tally at 34 people, said one death was in a landslide in Hiroshima, which had set off a fire, while the body of a child was found in another area. NHK said a woman died in her home in Hiroshima when it got buried in a mudslide.
Hundreds of homes and cars have been damaged. Pics/AFP
Assessing overall casualties was a challenge because of the widespread damage. NHK repeatedly urged those awaiting rescue to not lose hope. In Ehime prefecture, a woman was found dead on the second floor of a home hit by a landslide, Kyodo said. Also in Ehime, two elementary-school girls and their mother who got sucked into a mudslide were rescued but their hearts weren't beating, it said.
Kyoto prefecture said it was working to control flooding at several dams and identified one fatality as a 52-year-old woman. Military water trucks were rushing to areas where water systems were no longer working, Okayama prefecture said. Troops in camouflage outfits helped people and pets reach dry land on small military boats. Evacuation orders or advisories were sent for 4.72 million people, and 48,000 members of the Self-Defence Forces, police and firefighters were mobilised for search missions.
No. of people ordered to evacuate
No. of people reported missing
5.9-magnitude quake felt in Tokyo
Tokyo: A 5.9-magnitude earthquake hit Japan yesterday outside of Tokyo, swaying buildings in the capital, but no tsunami warning was issued. The quake hit yesteday, at a depth of 39 km, off the east coast of Honshu, Japan, the US Geological Survey said. Japan's meteorological agency said no tsunami warning was being issued. There were no immediate reports of damage after the quake, a relatively rare strong tremor to hit the capital. Residents in part of the Chiba region outside Tokyo reported strong tremors, with some saying the shaking had knocked objects from shelves, but there were no immediate injuries reported.
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