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Japan Floods: 134 dead, rescuers looking for dozens missing



(HIROSHIMA, Japan) – Rescue workers searched for dozens of people for mudslides and mudslides in southwest Japan on Tuesday through muddy hills and along river banks.

More than 50 people were missing Tuesday morning, many in the most seriously affected area of ​​Hiroshima.

Work under the scorching sun was hampered by mud and heat, and delivery of relief supplies was delayed mainly by damaged roads and transport systems in areas isolated from the disaster.

"No water, food, nothing comes here," said Ichiro Tanabe, a 73-year-old Kure resident, the Mainichi newspaper. "We will all be dehydrated if we continue to be isolated."

The landslides and floods in much of western Japan have claimed at least 1

34 lives, Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a news conference. Another seven were declared dead.

Some of the thousands of residents who had been evacuated, some rescued from their rooftops, started cleaning after the rain stopped on Monday.

Suga said the government has set up a task force and spent $ 2 billion ($ 18 million) to accelerate supplies and other support for evacuation centers and residents in the area.

Earlier Tuesday, the self-defense unit brought seven Hiroshima oil transports to Kure, an industrial city with 226,000 inhabitants, cut off from the rest of the prefecture due to the disaster.

Thousands of homes were still lacking clean water and electricity in Hiroshima and other severely affected areas. At temperatures of up to 35 degrees Celsius, the residents responded to the water in the scorching sun, which increased the risk of heat stroke.

Residents of a local primary school in Hiroshima's Yano district were provided with water, blankets and cell phone chargers. Some of them told of tight escapes.

Saburo Yokoyama, 82, said he was horrified when he saw floodwater flowing in front of his house. "It was scary, just scary, the front of our house became a river and made a tremendous noise," he said.

Ryutaro Hirakawa, 18, said he had fled his house after smelling a strange smell from the ground, a sign of a landslide. "The smell of earth and grass was so strong when I opened the window," he said. "There were landslides."

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a planned trip from July 11 to 18 to Europe and the Middle East to oversee the emergency response. The government mobilized 75,000 troops and emergency personnel and nearly 80 helicopters for search and rescue operations, Suga said.

The victim's assessment was slowed by the extent of affected areas. Officials in Ehime Prefecture called on the government to review its weather warning system. They pointed out that rain warnings were issued after damage and loss had already occurred. The Japanese Meteorological Agency said that up to 10 centimeters of rain per hour fell on large parts of southwestern Japan.

Officials and reports say that more than 80 people are still missing, many of them hit the hardest hit Hiroshima area. The Fire and Disaster Agency announced that 122 people were found dead on Tuesday.

Several days of heavy rains reported by weather officials as historic flooding and landslides in much of western Japan, such as Hiroshima, Okayama and Ehime Prefectures

Thousands of people have left their homes. Many returned home and started cleaning on Monday after the rain stopped and the weather warnings were lifted.


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