Disasters & Accidents

Torrential rains in Japan leave 34 dead and whole towns cut off

Tokyo, Jul 5 (efe-epa).- Heavy rains in Japan have left at least 34 people dead and 14 missing on Sunday with whole towns cut off by overflowing rivers.

The government has warned the public to avoid some areas due to the dangers of landslides triggered by downpours over the weekend.

One of the worst-hit areas has been the Kumamoto prefecture, on the island of Kyushu in southwestern Japan, which has seen the majority of the victims and damage from heavy rains which started in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Some areas have recorded more than 100 millimeters of rainfall in an hour, a record for the prefecture.

Fourteen people died in a nursing home on Saturday which was flooded after the Kuma River burst its banks.

Another 50 elderly residents were rescued by emergency services and military personnel on Sunday, many of them in a very weak state.

Another 20 people died in Kumamoto, where there are also reports of 14 individuals whose whereabouts are unknown which could see an increase in the death toll.

The majority of the fatalities have been elderly people, including a 93-year-old woman and an 85-year-old man, according to authorities.

Two rivers in the prefecture have overflowed and flooded 11 towns located along their banks, according to local media reports.

Floodwater has left nearly 30 districts completely cut off, including the cities of Yatsushiro and Hitoyoshi.

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