Floods in southern Japan force hundreds to flee; 2 dead
(Updated 11:37 a.m., July 6, 2017) TOKYO—Troops were working Thursday to rescue families left stranded by flooding in southern Japan triggered by heavy rains. A 93-year-old man and another one were found dead and several people were unaccounted for in flooding that wrecked homes, roads and rice terraces.
At least four people were unaccounted for and three were injured as of early Thursday, according to authorities in Fukuoka, on the southern island of Kyushu.
The national broadcaster NHK reported one man had died in neighboring Oita prefecture, but details were not immediately available.
The other man, a 93-year-old, was likely swept away by flooding, police said. His body was found Wednesday washed up in Asakita in Hiroshima prefecture, which is on the main island of Honshu.
Heavy rain warnings were in effect for much of Kyushu after Typhoon Nanmadol swept across Japan earlier in the week.
Television footage showed rice fields and homes flooded after a river swollen by the rains overflowed its banks, dragging vehicles into the riverbed and destroying dozens of buildings as well as roads and bridges. Soldiers could be seen gingerly walking through flood waters, carrying an elderly man to safety, and evacuating families using inflatable boats.
Rivers also flooded in nearby Oita, Ryutaro Fukui, a crisis management official in the city of Hita, told public broadcaster NHK.
Japan’s Meteorological Agency said Fukuoka and Oita were experiencing unprecedented amounts of rain.
Tens of thousands of people were instructed to evacuate though only a fraction of those advised to leave actually did, according to the local disaster management agency’s website. It said 1,700 people had sought refuge in schools and other public facilities in Fukuoka as of early Thursday. JPV
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