Dozens of people are still missing and four in critical condition as torrential rain that has killed twenty people pounds western and central Japan. Intense rainfall triggered huge landslides and flash floods in Hiroshima, Okayama, Kyoto and other regions, while hampering rescue operations.
Local authorities said on Saturday a total of 20 people were killed in rain-related accidents, while public broadcaster NHK said the death toll had risen to 38 with 50 others unaccounted for. The broadcaster also said that more than one-point-six million people had been ordered to evacuate from their homes.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told his ministers to “make an all-out effort” to rescue victims, saying: “The situation is extremely serious.”
Japan’s Meteorological Agency retained special weather warnings for three prefectures in the main island of Honshu, down from five, and urged vigilance against landslides, rising rivers and strong winds amid what it called “historic” rains.