Severe Rain, Flooding Leave 38 Dead, Scores Missing in Japan

People look at the swollen Kamo River in central Kyoto western Japan following heavy rain

People look at the swollen Kamo River in central Kyoto western Japan following heavy rain

The death toll from unprecedented rains in Japan rose to at least 66 on Sunday after rivers burst their banks and forced up to 4.2 million people from their homes, media reports said, with more rain set to hit some areas for at least another day.

As of 11 p.m. on July 6, evacuation orders had been issued to about 2.82 million people and evacuation advisories had been issued to some 4.22 million people in 23 prefectures, majority in the Kinki, Kyushu and Chugoku regions in western Japan.

MOFA advised people to stay away from the prefectures of Okayama, Tottori, Hyogo and Kyoto City, where emergency warnings were still in force, but also from Hiroshima prefecture, where the warnings had been lifted by Saturday morning, according to the Japan Times.

Katsura river is seen swollen due to a heavy rain in Kyoto, western Japan Friday, July 6, 2018.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told his cabinet on Saturday to take "every measure to prevent the disaster from worsening by taking advance actions".

TV footage showed a residential area in Okayama, in south-west Japan, with brown water spreading like a huge lake.

But the orders are not mandatory, and many people have become trapped inside homes that were engulfed by floodwaters or hit by landslides.

Kochi Prefecture, on Shikoku, issued landslide warnings nearly over the entire island. Troops in camouflage outfits helped people and pets reach dry land on small military boats.

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The Japan Meteorological Agency on Friday sounded an emergency alarm in some parts of Japan, heavily-hit by torrential rain, calling for the public to confirm their surroundings and ensure safety.

A woman who had gone missing after leaving her home in Kameoka, Kyoto Prefecture, in her vehicle was found dead in a river in Nose, Osaka Prefecture, on Friday.

"We are carrying out rescue operations around the clock", Mr Yoshihide Fujitani, a disaster management official in Hiroshima prefecture, told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

"We are also looking after evacuees and restoring lifeline infrastructure like water and gas", he added.

In Kasaoka in Okayama Prefecture, six workers were buried when a landslide crashed into their factory early Saturday morning, with one person confirmed dead.

"We had fled to the second floor but then the water rose more, so we went up to the third floor", she said.

The torrential downpours have caused flash flooding and landslides across central and western parts of the country, prompting evacuation orders for over two million people. "My body temperature has lowered".

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