TOKYO – Torrential rains triggered floods and landslides in southern Japan, leaving at least six people dead and 10 others missing, including elderly residents at a nursing home, officials said Wednesday.
A mudslide hit a nursing home in Hofu City in Yamaguchi Prefecture (state) on Tuesday, killing three people and injuring another, as the ground floor of the two-story building was inundated. Rescue workers and dogs searched Wednesday for four residents who were still missing, prefectural police official Fumio Kurokawa said.
Most of the 90 residents evacuated to the roof and were safely lifted out by helicopter.
Also in Hofu, an 85-year-old neighborhood woman was buried in a separate landslide and found dead Tuesday, and another person drowned after being washed into a swollen river.
Later Wednesday, a rescue team found the body of a 74-year-old farmer who had fallen into a swollen reservoir in nearby Shimonoseki City, becoming the sixth victim in the region, Kurokawa said. The man previously was not listed as missing.
Kurokawa said that in addition to the four missing from the nursing home, six other people — five in Hofu and another in a nearby city of Mine — were still unaccounted for.
More than 400 people evacuated in eight cities in Yamaguchi, the prefecture said in a statement. Rivers and canals flooded at more than 100 locations. At least 110 landslides were reported in Hofu, which lies about 620 miles southwest of Tokyo.
A seasonal rain front has brought torrential downpours in southwestern Japan since the weekend. Yamaguchi has seen record rainfall for July.
The Meteorological Agency said the peak of the rain has passed in southern Japan, where more than 10 inches of rainfall was reported in 24 hours through Tuesday evening, but it warned of a possibility of more landslides.