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More floods expected in Japan as death toll rises

World News | Published:

The southern Kyushu island is the worst affected region.

Parts of Japan still searching for missing people and evacuating those stranded by deadly floods and mudslides were bracing for more pounding rains through the weekend.

The death toll has risen to 66 as of Friday morning, with 16 others still missing, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said.

Most of them are in prefectures on Kyushu, Japan’s third-largest main island.

The damage has spread beyond Kyushu into central Japan’s scenic mountain villages known for hot springs and hiking.

Police officers carry earth and sand by buckets as they search for the missing in Tsunagi town, Kumamoto prefecture, southern Japan (Kyodo News/AP)
Police officers carry earth and sand by buckets as they search for the missing in Tsunagi town, Kumamoto prefecture, southern Japan (Kyodo News/AP)

In the famous hot springs town of Yufuin in Oita prefecture, an innkeeper was found dead, and rescuers were searching for three of her family members still missing.

Nearly 2,000 people were still stranded in 70 places, Japan’s chief cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.

Rescue workers and the authorities have been in touch with most of those areas, though the extent of damage has not been fully known.

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Damaged furniture is piled outside a Japanese hotel as it was hit by heavy rains in Hita, Oita prefecture (Miyuki Saito/AP)
Damaged furniture is piled outside a Japanese hotel as it was hit by heavy rains in Hita, Oita prefecture (Miyuki Saito/AP)

In all, more than 1.2 million people have been urged to evacuate, though it is not compulsory.

The agency predicted up to 11 inches of rain on the southern island through Saturday.

Mr Suga urged residents in the affected regions to evacuate to designated facilities early and assured people that adequate virus safety measures are being used.

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