Japan battered by more heavy rain, floods; at least 58 dead
Japan Today -- Jul 09
Pounding rain that already caused deadly floods in southern Japan was moving northeast Wednesday, battering large areas of Japan's main island, swelling more rivers, triggering mudslides and destroying houses and roads. At least 58 people have died in several days of flooding.

Parts of Nagano and Gifu, including areas known for scenic mountain trails and hot springs, were flooded by massive downpours.

Footage on NHK television showed a swollen river gouging into the embankment, destroying a highway, while in the city of Gero, the rising river was flowing just below a bridge.

Flooding and mudslides disrupted parts of a main road connecting Kamikochi and Matsumoto, two main tourist destinations in Nagano, stranding hundreds of residents and visitors, though they are believed to have safely evacuated. In neighboring Gifu, hundreds of others were also isolated in hot springs town of Gero and Ontake.

In another mountainous scenic town of Takayama, several houses were hit by a mudslide, their residents all safely rescued.

As of Wednesday morning, the death toll from the heavy rains starting over the weekend had risen to 58, most of them from the hardest-hit Kumamoto prefecture. Four others were found in Fukuoka, another prefecture on Kyushu, Japan's third-largest island.

At the peak, as many as 3.6 million people were advised to evacuate, although it wasn't mandatory and the number who took shelter was not known. About half of the advisories have been lifted by Wednesday afternoon.

News source: Japan Today
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