Torrential rains produced victims and material damage in Japan

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Some people were injured in landslides. By Saturday morning, more than 1.6 million people had been ordered to evacuate their homes for fear of flooding and further landslides, with 3.1 million more advised to leave, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said. In Motoyama, a town on Shikoku island about 600 km from Tokyo, 583 millimetres of rain fell between Friday and Saturday mornings. Japan’s Meteorological Agency issued special weather warnings across four prefectures in the west of Japan’s main island of Honshu, urging vigilance against landslides, rising rivers and strong winds amid what it called “historic” rains.

rescue-after-landslide
Rescue after landslide

Helicopter footage showed people on their roofs waving for help in Kurashiki, and Japanese soldiers rescuing children by boat from a flooded river in Hiroshima. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said about 48,000 police, firefighters and members of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces were responding to appeals for help. Some companies including Mitsubishi Motors Corp halted production. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told his ministers to “make an all-out effort” to rescue victims, saying: “The situation is extremely serious.” Rural areas are hit hard by the rainy season each year in Japan.

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