Flooding, mudslides wreak havoc after days of heavy rain

Flooding, mudslides wreak havoc after days of heavy rain

Flooding, mudslides wreak havoc after days of heavy rain

Japan's ancient capital braced itself for further rain Saturday night amid concerns about rising rivers, while canceled bullet trains due to severe rain and flooding in western Japan left tourists stranded and scrambling to find alternative routes.

At least 50 people are missing and 15 killed after torrential rains and flooding hit southwestern Japan, reported Japanese media, with more than 1.6 million people evacuated from their homes.

Residential buildings are damaged by a landslide caused by heavy rains in Sakacho, Hiroshima prefecture, south western Japan.

The country's Fire and Disaster Management Agency said more than 150,000 residents were ordered to evacuate, and another 1.2 million were urged to flee Friday morning as conditions worsened, Reuters added.

In August 2014, 77 people died in Hiroshima when torrential rain triggered massive landslides that destroyed homes.

Another woman reportedly died in her home in Hiroshima after it was buried in a mudslide.

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People wait to be rescued on the roof of a house nearly submerged in floodwaters caused by heavy rains in Kurashiki, Okayama prefecture, southwestern Japan on Saturday.

Evacuation orders went out in some outlying parts of Kyoto, with the Kyodo news agency saying about 16,000 people were affected.

A woman in her 70s or 80s was reportedly found dead inside a drainage facility in central Japan, local police reported, with a number of people remaining unaccounted for, including a man in Kochi Prefecture whose milk deliver vehicle may have been washed away by a river.

In Seiyo, Ehime Prefecture, five were confirmed dead due to the torrential rain, including people swept away in a auto. It is the first time that the JMA has issued emergency heavy rain warnings in eight prefectures at the same time since the agency launched the system in 2013. Of those dead by the afternoon, 14 were killed in Hiroshima prefecture, and the rest in Osaka, Shiga, Hyogo, Okayama and Ehime prefectures. The downpour, which began Thursday, is likely to last till Sunday. Two other people were also unaccounted for in Fukuoka prefecture, the agency said.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp halted operations at one plant because it could not get parts, Kyodo said.

At a meeting with ministers, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe directed them to "prioritise lifesaving and send rescue crews without delay", according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.

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