Flooding, Landslides in Japan Leave at Least 85 Dead

The swollen Kamo River is seen following heavy rain near the Sanjo Ohashi Bridge in Kyoto

The swollen Kamo River is seen following heavy rain near the Sanjo Ohashi Bridge in Kyoto

At least 60 people have died in Japan as the country is battered by the worst rains and flooding in the country's history.

The Japan Meteorological Agency on Friday sounded an emergency alarm in some parts of Japan, heavily-hit by torrential rain, calling for the public to confirm their surroundings and ensure safety.

Torrents of rainfall and flooding battered a widespread area in southwestern Japan on Saturday, with local media casualty reports climbing quickly.

Authorities have warned that landslides could strike even if the rainfall diminishes.

Numerous dead had ignored evacuation orders, choosing to stay in their homes despite warnings.

Landslide warnings are in place in over a quarter of Japan's prefectures.

People who are stranded at a flooded hospital are rescued following heavy rain in Kurashiki city, Okayama prefecture, southwestern Japan, Sunday, July 8, 2018.

People wait to be rescued on the roof of a house nearly submerged in floodwaters caused by heavy rains in Kurashiki, Okayama prefecture, southwestern Japan on Saturday.

A train was derailed by landslides in Saga prefecture.

Taiwan's office in Osaka told MOFA that no Taiwanese residents, students or visitors had been hurt in the flooding, the Central News Agency reported.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said 54,000 personnel had been mobilized for search-and-rescue efforts, NHK reported.

"The situation is extremely risky", wrote a Twitter user in Kochi, a city on the smallest main island of Shikoku, where the rain has been especially intense.

A woman who had gone missing after leaving her home in Kameoka, Kyoto Prefecture, in her vehicle was found dead in a river in Nose, Osaka Prefecture, on Friday.

Hundreds of people have been injured, and dozens of homes have been completely destroyed in the disastrous downpours. Also in Ehime, two elementary schoolgirls and their mother who got sucked into a mudslide were pulled out but could not be revived, it said.

Auto manufacturers Mitsubishi and Mazda were forced to halt production at some factories because they could not get parts or did not want to force employees to travel to work in unsafe conditions, Kyodo reported.

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, 17 railroad operators were suspending services on 56 routes in western Japan or elsewhere.

Since the downpour began Thursday, when the weather agency forecast record amounts of rain through Sunday, 30 people have died in Hiroshima, 19 in Ehime and 10 in Okayama.

Throughout the affected areas, parked cars sat in pools of water.

Kyodo news service reported several deaths in a landslide in Hiroshima and more bodies were retrieved from collapsed housing in the ancient capital of Kyoto, both areas where the rainfall was heavy in the past few days.

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