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114 dead in heavy rain, landslides / Relief law applied to aid rescues

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Search operations are conducted Monday morning in a residential area of Kumano, Hiroshima Prefecture, where many people were believed to be missing.

The Yomiuri ShimbunThe death toll has continued to rise after record rainfall primarily in western Japan, with 114 people killed in 12 prefectures, including Hiroshima and Ehime, as of Monday evening, according to information collected by The Yomiuri Shimbun.

A total of 59 people were missing, the Yomiuri found.

The Self-Defense Forces, police and other authorities were conducting search and rescue operations Monday as the 72-hour mark approached following the outbreak of the disaster. The survival rate is said to fall sharply after that point, which was to come Monday evening.

The Japan Meteorological Agency had lifted all special rain warnings issued in 11 prefectures by Sunday, and is calling for caution regarding sediment-related disasters in the coming days.

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  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

    Houses that were swept into the sea by a landslide in the Yoshidacho district of Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture, are seen on Monday.

  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

    An elderly woman rides in a boat after being rescued by Self-Defense Forces personnel in the Mabicho district of Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, on Sunday.

  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

    A person who was stranded at a hospital climbs down a ladder into a boat as others wait in the Mabicho district of Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, on Sunday.

  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

    Rescuers lift a person who was stranded at a flooded hospital into a helicopter in the Mabicho district of Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, on Sunday.

The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency announced that 23,369 people stayed in shelters as of Sunday night. Evacuation orders and advisories had been issued to about 1.74 million households containing 3.86 million people in 17 prefectures as of 5 a.m. Monday.

According to the Cabinet Office, the Disaster Relief Law was applied to 97 municipalities in eight prefectures to speed up rescue operations.

The restoration of roads has allowed more rescue teams to reach disaster-affected areas, resulting in the detection of a greater number of the dead and missing in Hiroshima, Okayama and Ehime prefectures. A total of at least 42 people were confirmed dead in Hiroshima Prefecture, and more than 10 people were believed to have been buried alive in the town of Kumano in the prefecture.

A total of 10 bodies were found in houses and elsewhere in the Mabicho district in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture. The bodies of a fourth-grade boy at an elementary school and his mother were found, two of three family members who went missing due to landslides in Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture.

According to data compiled by the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry, 79 rivers in 17 prefectures were flooded as of 4 a.m. Monday, and 2,330 hectares were flooded. A total of 13 sections of 12 expressways, including roads in Chugoku, Shikoku and Kyushu regions, were closed for such reasons as the collapse of roadside slopes.

Although the heavy rain had stopped by Monday morning, the rainfall over 72 hours marked 1,203.5 millimeters in Umaji, Kochi Prefecture; 868 millimeters in Gujo, Gifu Prefecture; 533.5 millimeters in Kihoku, Ehime Prefecture; and 471 millimeters in Mihara, Hiroshima Prefecture. A total of 119 locations in 22 prefectures saw record rainfall.

Previously the most severe human losses due to heavy rain or sediment disasters since the start of the Heisei era in 1989 resulted from Typhoon No. 23, which hit mainly the Kinki and Shikoku regions in October 2004, and floods and landslides in the Kii Peninsula in August and September 2011, according to the Cabinet Office’s White Paper on Disaster Management and other sources.

In both of those disasters, 98 people died or went missing.Speech

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