Death toll rises to 27 in Kyushu

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Self-Defense Forces personnel search for missing people in the Hakihoshimaru district of Asakura, Fukuoka Prefecture, on Wednesday morning.

Jiji PressFUKUOKA/OITA (Jiji Press) — The death toll rose to 27 on Wednesday, a week after torrential rains started to hit the northern part of the Kyushu southwestern Japan region.

Two of the three people found in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest in the city of Asakura, Fukuoka Prefecture, earlier on Wednesday were confirmed dead, local police said.

In Asakura, 19 other people have already died. The death toll also includes three each in the Fukuoka village of Toho and the neighboring city of Hita, Oita Prefecture.

Twenty people remain unaccounted for in Asakura, and one in Ukiha, another Fukuoka city. Mudslides make the search for the missing difficult.

The isolation of 110 people in two districts in Hita was relieved on Wednesday morning, when roads linking the areas and the city center were restored.

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  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

    The triple-linked waterwheels in Asakura, Fukuoka Prefecture, have completely stopped after getting jammed by sediment and pieces of wood, as seen on Wednesday morning. The waterwheels are the oldest in the nation to be used for irrigation and are a nationally designated historical site. Operating since 1789, they attract large numbers of tourists.

About 1,000 people were still evacuated in Fukuoka and 270 in Oita.

Abe announces financial support

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited disaster areas in the two prefectures on Wednesday.

In Asakura, he offered a silent prayer for victims.

Speaking to reporters, Abe said the government will act as early as possible to provide special financial support to affected areas and people.

In Toho, he met local residents staying at an evacuation center and promised that his government will make all efforts to bring them back to normal life as early as possible.

In Hita, Abe visited a site where a railway bridge was washed away. He also held talks with evacuees.Speech

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