Japan flooding: Dozens dead as torrential rain triggers landslides

A landslide blocks National Route No. 156 in Gujo Gifu Prefecture

A landslide blocks National Route No. 156 in Gujo Gifu Prefecture

Rescue workers dug into the dirt as landslides crushed houses in the same region, while several people evacuated to their rooftops as floods swamped entire residential areas in part of the Okayama region.

More rain, heavy at times, is forecast Sunday for most much of western Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu, with the skies starting to clear Monday.

In Hiroshima Prefecture, 21 people died in the disaster.

Cars and debris were seen submerged by floodwaters in Sakamachi, Hiroshima prefecture, Saturday.

As the rescue operations continued, the country also saw a 6.0-magnitude quake just outside Tokyo on Saturday, which left buildings swaying in the capital.

Japan's Meteorological Agency has issued warnings at the highest level of its alert system - only issued when the amount of rain is expected to be the highest in decades - for large parts of western Japan.

A woman who had gone missing after leaving her home in Kameoka, Kyoto Prefecture, in her vehicle was found dead in a river in Nose, Osaka Prefecture, on Friday.

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Around 168,000 people were ordered from their homes due to the danger of further landslides and flooding, and 1.2 million more were advised to leave as of Friday morning, the Agency added.

In Seiyo in Ehime Prefecture, five people were confirmed dead due to the torrential rain, including people swept away in a vehicle. The agency subsequently lifted the warnings in Hiroshima, Okayama, Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Tottori and Hyogo prefectures, but issued such a warning in Gifu Prefecture.

Hiroshima was also hit hard by torrential rain in August 2014, when 77 people were killed as massive landslides destroyed homes.

In Kasaoka in Okayama Prefecture, six workers were buried when a landslide crashed into their factory early Saturday morning, with one person confirmed dead.

TV footage showed crews in military trucks delivering emergency water supplies to areas where water infrastructure was down, while troops in boats helped people and pets safely reach dry land.

The agency warned that Japan's Kinki region, which includes Kyoto, Hyogo and Osaka prefectures, could be particularly hard-hit by downpours, escalating the risk of floods, landslides, lightning and tornadoes. Another woman in the same district was found dead on the second floor of a home hit by a landslide.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp halted operations at one plant because it could not get parts, Kyodo said.

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