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21 killed in Japan rains; evacuation efforts to affect 4 million people

The Japanese archipelago has been pounded by heavy rain since Thursday

IANS  |  Tokyo 

Japan rains
Residents wait to be rescued on the rooftop of a house. Photo: Reuters

At least 21 people have died and 47 were missing Saturday due to heavy rainfall in

The Meteorological Agency (JMA) has issued the highest possible alert for the prefectures of Hyogo, Okayama, Gifu Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Saga, and Tottori, reports news.

The missing people were mainly from Okayama, and Ehime, where rescue teams have widened their search for trapped or injured people.

Over 650 members of the armed forces have been deployed for rescue operations, while an additional 21,000 were on standby, told reporters.

Authorities have issued evacuation orders affecting over four million people.

In a press conference, the JMA warned that the earth had softened due to the rainfall, increasing the risk of accidents related to landslides.

The has been pounded by heavy since Thursday.

The JMA has forecast record rainfall until Sunday and warned that in some regions, precipitation could reach up to 8 cm per hour.

First Published: Sat, July 07 2018. 13:18 IST