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Dozens Dead, Millions Flee Amid Record Rainfall

Japan grapples with flooding and landslides
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 8, 2018 1:00 PM CDT
An overturned car is seen on a road following heavy rain in Ozu city, Ehime prefecture, southwestern Japan, Sunday, July 8, 2018.   (Michi Ono/Kyodo News via AP)
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(Newser) – Searches continued Sunday night for victims of heavy rainfall that hammered southern Japan for the third straight day, killing dozens and forcing 2 million to flee their homes, the AP and CNN report. Death tolls vary between around 50 and 85, while the Japanese broadcaster NHK says at least 58 more are missing and six are in critical condition. "The record rainfalls in various parts of the country have caused rivers to burst their banks, and triggered large-scale floods and landslides in several areas," a Japansese official said Sunday. The Japan Meteorological Agency said three hours of rainfall in one area in Kochi prefecture reached an accumulated 10.4 inches, the highest since such records started in 1976.

The assessment of casualties has been difficult because of the widespread area affected by the rainfall, flooding, and landslides, but hundreds of homes are damaged or destroyed. In Hiroshima prefecture, water streamed through a residential area, strewn with fallen telephone poles, uprooted trees, and mud. In another area in Hiroshima, 12 people went missing when a residential area got sucked into a landslide, and one body was later found. The Japanese government set up an emergency office, designed for crises such as major earthquakes. Military paddle boats were also being used to take people to dry land. "Rescue efforts are a battle with time," says Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. "The rescue teams are doing their utmost."

(Read more Japan stories.)

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