Heavy rain death toll at 18; 20 still missing in Kyushu

Jiji Press FUKUOKA/OITA (Jiji Press) — A total of 18 people had been confirmed dead as of Sunday afternoon in rain disaster-hit areas in Fukuoka and Oita prefectures, while more than 20 people remained unaccounted for in Fukuoka and over 200 people were waiting to be rescued in Oita.

Separately, five bodies have been found in neighboring Saga Prefecture, which faces the Ariake Sea, and other locations. Believing they were washed away by the heavy rain, local police have been trying to identify them.

Police officers, Self-Defense Forces’ troops and other rescuers are stepping up their operations as 72 hours had passed since Wednesday afternoon, when the historic rainfall triggered a series of landslides and floods in the two prefectures. Survival rates are believed to fall rapidly after the critical hours.

According to local governments and other authorities, 13 people have been confirmed dead in the city of Asakura in Fukuoka, two in the village of Toho in the same prefecture and three in the city of Hita in Oita.

The Fukuoka prefectural government said it has been unable to reach 25 people in Asakura and one in the city of Ukiha. In Toho, where one person has been missing, a woman was found without signs of life.

Meanwhile, the Oita government announced some 220 people have still been stranded in five locations in Hita.Speech

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