Published: Thu, July 12, 2018

Japan death toll rises to at least 176 in flood

Japan death toll rises to at least 176 in flood

Since Thursday, landslides and flooded rivers have trapped many people in their houses or on rooftops. In Hiroshima, 12 people were caught up in landslides in the residential areas of Kawasumi in Kumano-cho section of Hiroshima.

"We had evacuation orders before and nothing happened, so I just thought this was going to be the same", said Kenji Ishii, 57, who stayed at home with his wife and son.

Authorities have warned that landslides could strike even if the rainfall diminishes.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English, based on reports from the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

The automaker, which suspended operations at several plants last week, said the halt would continue at two plants until Tuesday because it can not receive components, although both units were undamaged. Six people are in critical condition, and dozens are still missing, the public broadcaster NHK reported on Sunday. Eiko Yamane, a resident of Hiroshima, explained to TIME, "Hiroshima prefecture is normally blessed with mild weather and has few natural disasters so people here have never experienced a situation like this".

In one of the most dramatic rescues, patients and staff - some still in their pyjamas - were helped from the balcony of a hospital in the city of Kurashiki on Sunday and rowed to safety on military paddle boats.

They were rescued hours later, and returned to the town on Monday, where Ogawa found his telephone, filled with calls from concerned relatives and friends.

Nearly 2 million people were still subject to evacuation orders, while tens of thousands of rescue workers battled mud, water and rubble to search for survivors stranded in their homes.


Earlier on Tuesday, the Self-Defence Force ferried seven oil trucks from Hiroshima to Kure, a manufacturing city whose 226,000 residents were cut off from the rest of the prefecture due to the disaster.

"It was dark and we could not see clearly what was happening, although we knew water was running outside".

Around 23,000 people are now in evacuation centers after fleeing the historic deluge and 73,000 disaster response workers have been recruited to assist in rescue efforts.

Around 21 people are unaccounted for since the downpour that began late last week, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Thursday.

Around 75,000 police, firemen and troops have been deployed in the search and rescue operation across parts of central and western Japan. Power and water outages were common, and damage to roads and railway tracks disrupted deliveries of food and relief supplies.

An emergency management center has been set up at the prime minister's office.

At least 100 people are thought to have died after record rainfall caused flooding and landslides in western Japan, a government spokesman says.

An aerial view shows a local resident being rescued from a submerged house by rescue workers using helicopter at a flooded area in Kurashiki, southern Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo July 7, 2018.

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