Heavy Rain Kills 21, Leaves More Than 20 Missing in Southwestern Japan


Fukuoka/Ōita, July 9 (Jiji Press)—A total of 21 people had been confirmed dead as of Sunday in rain-drenched areas of Fukuoka and Ōita Prefectures, while more than 20 people remained unaccounted for in Fukuoka and about 150 people were waiting to be rescued in Ōita.

Separately, five bodies have been found in neighboring Saga Prefecture, which faces the Ariake Sea, and other locations. Believing they were washed away by the heavy rain, local police have been trying to identify them.

Prefectural police and SDF troops searched July 8 for missing residents following landslides that have cut off communities in Tōhō, Fukuoka, from the outside world. (© Jiji)

Police officers, Self-Defense Force troops, and other rescuers are stepping up their operations as 72 hours have already passed since Wednesday afternoon, when the historic rainfall triggered a series of landslides and floods in the two prefectures. Survival rates are believed to fall rapidly after the critical hours.

But the activities were disrupted by heavy rain in the city of Asakura, Fukuoka, where 316 residents were ordered to evacuate once again.

According to local governments and other authorities, 15 people have been confirmed dead in Asakura, 3 in the village of Tōhō, also in Fukuoka, and 3 in the city of Hita in Ōita.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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