After record rainfall triggering widespread flooding and deadly landslides in southwest Japan has forced over 2 million people to flee their homes. Three million more people have been advised to evacuate as well.
According to Japanese broadcaster NHK, authorities say that the death toll has risen to 85, and six people remain in critical condition. There are at least 58 people missing. Authorities also say that this could potentially be the worse weather disaster Japan has seen in decades.
Hundreds of homes have been destroyed or damaged, and in all, eight prefectures have been affected, including Kyoto and Hiroshima.
About 14.3 inches of rain fell between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. in the city of Uwajima, which is approximately 1.5 times the average monthly rainfall for July.
In Sukumo City in Kochi prefecture, 10.3 inches of rain fell in two hours.
The Hiroshima Prefecture was hit the hardest with 37 people reported dead. 21 were killed in the Ehime prefecture.
In the Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture, firefighters are rescuing over 100 patients and evacuees left in a hospital.
“The record rainfalls in various parts of the country have caused rivers to burst their banks, and triggered large-scale floods and landslides in several areas,” Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Sunday.
While there are thousands of police, firefighters, and soldiers are taking part in search and rescue missions, the flooding and landslides are hindering the rescue operations. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that authorities are in a “race against time” to save and evacuate people.
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