The victims were registered mainly in the prefectures of Hiroshima and Ehime (west), according to data collected by the public broadcaster NHK, which broadcasts live images of flooded localities, houses partially buried in mountain slopes, and destroyed bridges and roads.
At least 50 people have been killed and dozens are missing due to floods and landslides triggered by torrential rains in the southern half of Japan.
The victims have been registered mainly in the prefectures of Hiroshima and Ehime (west), according to data collected by the public broadcaster NHK, which broadcasts live images of flooded localities, houses partially buried in mountain slopes, and destroyed bridges and roads.
The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) keeps on high alert in the prefectures of Kyoto (west) and Gifu (center), after having progressively lifted those imposed between Friday and Saturday in Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Saga, Hiroshima, Okayama, Tottori, and Hyogo.
The majority of the deceased were dragged by the floods of the rivers, accidentally fell in their flows or were surprised in their houses by avalanches of earth and the rise of the waters, according to gathered the local means.
In Okayama, the flooding of a nursing home caused about 80 people to be temporarily isolated, while more than a dozen citizens took refuge on the roof of their home to escape the overflows, explained the agency Kyodo.
Another 31 of the 47 provinces of the archipelago (apart from Kyoto and Gifu) remain on alert for floods and landslides that led the authorities to order this Saturday momentarily the evacuation of almost 5 million people.
The security bodies received more than a hundred requests for ransom, said the spokesman for the executive, Yoshihide Suga, at a press conference held by the agency on Saturday, in which he explained that the government has established a crisis cabinet.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the situation “very serious” and called on local authorities to prioritize “the rescue of lives” and take measures to prevent further damage.
Some 650 members of the Self-Defense Forces (Japanese army) are participating in the rescue efforts, and another 21,000 are ready to be deployed, said Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, in a statement to the media.
Some 48,000 troops, including soldiers, police, and firefighters, are involved in the rescue of wounded, missing and deceased, detailed Kyodo.
The torrential rains also affected the transport network, with the suspension of bullet train services (Shinkansen) in almost all the territory, and led to companies such as Mitsubishi Motors and Daihatsu Motor (unit of manufacture of mini-vehicles of Toyota Motor), to suspend production at some of its plants.
The heavy rains in Japan began on Thursday and the local meteorological body forecasts rains until Sunday that can reach record levels.
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