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5 July, 2020 12:49:22 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 5 July, 2020 03:32:53 PM

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Japan floods leave 20 people dead

Independent Online/AP
Japan floods leave 20 people dead
A car stands vertically on a muddy road after being washed away by flood, in Hitoyoshi, Kumamoto prefecture, southwestern Japan. Photo: AP

Deep floodwaters and the risk of more mudslides that left about 20 people confirmed or presumed dead hampered search and rescue operations on Sunday in southern Japan.

Large areas along the Kuma River were swallowed by floodwaters with many houses, buildings and vehicles submerged almost up to their roofs. Mudslides smashed into houses, sending people atop rooftops waiving at rescuers.

At a flooded elderly care home in Kuma Village, at least 14 residents were presumed dead after rescuers reached them on Saturday, officials said.

Three others had hypothermia.

Rescue helicopters and boats plucked more people from their homes in the Kumamoto region. Up to 10,000 defense troops, the coast guard and fire brigades are taking part in the operation.

The rescue continued Sunday for dozens of other residents and caregivers who were still at the riverside care facility Senjuen, where about 60 people were trapped when floodwaters and mud gushed in, officials said.

Overall, Kumamoto officials said they could confirm 18 presumed dead, including the 14 at the nursing home, as they continued to assess the extent of damage. NHK television said 16 were confirmed dead, 16 others presumed dead and 14 still missing.

In Hitoyoshi City, the deluge poured into houses near the main train station. "The water rose to the second floor so fast and I just couldn’t stop shivering,” a 55-year-old woman who was visiting her relatives told the Asahi newspaper.

She and her relatives ran upstairs, swam out of the window and eventually took refuge on the roof to wait for their rescue.

More than 200,000 residents in Kumamoto prefecture were urged to evacuate following pounding rains on Friday evening and into Saturday.

looding also cut off power and communication lines, further delaying the search and rescue. Nearly 6,000 homes in Kumamoto were still without electricity Sunday, according to the Kyushu Electric Power Co.

 

SI

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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