Rescue efforts in Japan following heavy rains, floods

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Tokyo, July 8 (IANS) Rescue and search operations continued in Japan on Sunday to locate over 40 people who were reported missing after floods and landslides caused by torrential rains hit the country which have also left at least 65 people dead.

Authorities said in addition to the confirmed deaths, four other people remained unconscious, while at least 45 were missing, reports Efe news.

Emergency services have received over a 100 calls reporting cars being swept away or other accidents although it is not clear exactly how many people are missing, government spokesperson Yoshihide Suga said.

Several areas have registered record levels of precipitation since torrential rainfall began lashing the country on Thursday, and 20 prefectures are on alert – three of them on the highest possible alert — Gifu, Ehime, Kochi — for overflowing rivers and disasters related to landslides and mudslides.

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A 54,000-member team, including soldiers, police officers and firefighters were involved in the rescue efforts, for which 41 helicopters have also been deployed, Suga added.

Authorities have ordered the evacuation of over four million people in southwestern Japan.

The rains are the deadliest to hit Japan since August 2014, when 77 people died in Hiroshima.

–IANS

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