15 dead, 50 missing as heavy floods hit Japan

15 dead, 50 missing as heavy floods hit Japan

An aerial view shows local residents seen on the roof of a submerged house at a flooded area as they wait for a rescue in Kurashiki, southern Japan. (Reuters Photo)

Torrents of rainfall and flooding battered a widespread area in southwestern Japan on Saturday, leaving at least 15 people dead and more than 50 missing, according to Japanese media.

As the death toll continued to climb from the rainfall, which began earlier this week, Okayama prefecture said a man caught in a landslide was pronounced dead.

Kyodo news service reported another death in a landslide in Hiroshima, which set off a fire, while the body of a child was found in a flooded area.

Among the missing were five people who got buried when housing collapsed, also in Hiroshima prefecture. In Ehime Prefecture, a woman was found dead on the second floor of a home hit by a landslide, Kyodo said.

Yamaguchi prefecture, another area hit by the heavy rain, alerted people to heed evacuation warnings and act quickly.

Kyoto prefecture said it was working to control flooding at several dams. Some 250 people had to flee their homes and the prefecture identified one fatality as a 52-year old woman.

Roads were blocked in some areas and warnings issued on landslides.

Military water trucks were rushing to areas where water systems were no longer working, Okayama prefecture said.

Although Japan is among the most modernized of Asian nations, rural areas are hit hard by the rainy season each year, often resulting in casualties and heavy damage.

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