Rains, floods in western Japan leave 81 dead

Floods destroy 276,000 homes in 11 prefectures, search and rescue operation underway to find over 50 missing persons
ANKARA: A total of 81 people were killed and over 50 others remained missing on Sunday after the torrential rains triggered massive flooding and landslides in western Japan, local media reported.
Since the rain began on Thursday, a total of 37 people died in Hiroshima, 20 in Ehime and 10 in Okayama, Kyodo news agency said in a report.
The other casualties were reported from Yamaguchi, Kyoto, Gifu, Shiga, Hyogo, Kochi and Fukuoka prefectures, the agency added.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for search and rescue efforts after an emergency meeting.
The rescue teams — consisting of 54,000 personnel from the police, fire departments, the Self-Defense Forces and the Japan Coast Guard — expanded their search for the missing persons.
It is also reported that the floods destroyed a total of 276,000 homes in 11 prefectures.–AA

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