Death toll from record rains in southwestern Japan rises to six

Tokyo, Jul 11 (EFE).- The record rains lashing southwestern Japan since the weekend and prompted the issuing of the country’s highest weather alert levels have left at least six people dead, three missing and two injured, according to authorities on Tuesday.

The rains, which are especially affecting the prefectures of Fukuoka and Oita, have left several localities isolated due to flooding and landslides, so the death toll could increase, according to government spokesman Hirakazu Matsuno at a press conference.

Some 12 highways remained closed early Tuesday, 11 train lines were suspended, some 1,400 homes were without power, about 200 were without water and there were problems with telecommunications networks in several parts of Fukuoka and Oita, the spokesman said.

In the Oita city of Nakatsu, rescue teams were searching for a woman in her 50s, public broadcaster NHK said.

National authorities on Monday morning issued the highest heavy rain emergency warnings, but later in the day lowered the level as the front moved eastward.

Such alerts are used in the country when the risk of accidents arising from the disasters is “extremely high,” according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, which urged caution Tuesday amid the expected continuation of heavy rainfall.

While the south of the country suffers heavy rains, the entire archipelago is affected by extreme temperatures that could reach 37 degrees Celsius on Tuesday in central Japan, 35C in Tokyo and 36C in nearby Saitama Prefecture, and 33C in nearby Chiba. EFE


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