At least 49 killed, 48 missing as torrential rain pounds Japan

At least 49 killed, 48 missing as torrential rain pounds Japan

At least 49 killed, 48 missing as torrential rain pounds Japan

At least 38 people have died, four people are said to be in a serious condition and another 47 remain missing, the public broadcaster NHK reported.

Television footage showed a residential area in Okayama prefecture seeped in brown water spreading like a huge lake.

Several major manufacturers, including carmakers Daihatsu and Mitsubishi, said they had suspended operations at plants in the affected areas.

Also in Okayama, a nursing home for the elderly was inundated and about 80 people were temporarily stranded on the second floor, while more than 10 people climbed onto the roofs of their homes as water surged in the prefecture.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe added: "There are still many people missing and others in need of help, we are working against time".

Travelers planning to visit regions of Japan including Hiroshima and Kyoto should stay away for the time being due to the danger of deadly rains and flooding, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Saturday.

Throughout the hard hit areas, rivers swelled and parked cars sat in pools of water. Abe reportedly urged his cabinet to "take every measure to prevent the disaster from worsening". In Hiroshima Prefecture, emergency services have received reports that residents were buried alive as they were hit by landslides.

Okayama Prefecture said three people had died, six others were missing and seven were injured, one of them seriously Six homes were destroyed, while almost 500 were flooded.

Roads are covered in mud waters after a landslide caused by heavy rains in Aki, Hiroshima prefecture, south-western Japan, on Saturday.

Assessing overall casualties was a challenge because of the widespread damage. Also in Ehime, two elementary schoolgirls and their mother who got sucked into a mudslide were pulled out but could not be revived.

Fears that the Katsura River in Kyoto Prefecture could overflow on the night of July 6 forced the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry's Kinki Regional Development Bureau to release water from the Hiyoshi Dam situated on the upper reaches of the river in Tannan, Kyoto Prefecture. Among the missing was a nine-year-old boy believed trapped in his house by a landslide that left at least three others dead, one of them a man in his 80s.

Evacuation orders remain in place for some two million people and another 2.3 million were advised to evacuate, although rain has stopped and floodwaters have retreated in some areas.

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