At least 76 killed in Japan floods

Geraldine Edwards
July 9, 2018

Abe set up a government crisis committee to deal with the disaster yesterday, mobilising 54,000 rescue workers from the Self-Defence Forces, police and fire departments.

Even as the rains let up, authorities warned the downpours had loosened earth on hillsides and mountain slopes creating new risks.

"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", Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga added, according to CNN.

Evacuation orders were in place for almost 2 million people and landslide warnings were issued in many prefectures.

Many people cried out for help on Twitter, as Japan Today described one woman's please for help.

The official toll includes one person killed last week, when the typhoon system that brought the heavy rains first made landfall in Japan, but most of the deaths have been reported in the last few days.

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The death toll from torrential rain and landslides in western Japan rose to 81 people yesterday, with dozens still missing after more than 2,000, temporarily stranded in the city of Kurashiki, were rescued.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe canceled an overseas trip to deal with Japan's worst flood disaster since 1983, with several million people forced from their homes. Many waited hours to be rescued. 'The rescue teams are doing their utmost'.

MIHARA (Japan) • Mr Masanori Hiramoto stood before his traditional home in the Japanese town of Mihara, speechless at the destruction caused by record rain that have killed dozens of people.

The agency is also maintaining the same warning that has been issued to Gifu Prefecture.

People wait to be rescued on the top of a house nearly submerged in floodwaters caused by heavy rains in southwestern Japan.

A woman who was reported as missing after getting trapped in her vehicle was found but was pronounced dead, Kyodo news service reported.

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"The washing machine, refrigerator, microwave, toaster, PC - they're all destroyed", she said as she cleaned her two-story house.

In Okayama prefecture, rescue workers flew in helicopters over areas that are still under flood water and otherwise unreachable, looking for signs of life. Hundreds of homes have been damaged.

Okayama prefecture, south of Hiroshima, said in a statement that five people had died, seven were missing and 11 were injured, at least one of them seriously.

"If the water level drops low enough, they may be able to access hard-hit areas by road or on foot", a spokeswoman at the area's disaster control office said.

Two sisters from an elementary school with just six students on the small island of Nuwa in Ehime prefecture also died, according to Reuters.

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