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      24 Dead, 8 Missing in Japanese Floods

      Flooding in Japan has killed at least 24 as troops airlifted supplies to keep thousands of others alive.
      By Chana Ya'ar
      First Publish: 7/15/2012, 12:04 PM

      Flooding destroyed towns in southwestern Japan
      Flooding destroyed towns in southwestern Japan
      Reuters

      Flooding in Japan has killed at least 24 as troops airlifted supplies to keep thousands of others alive. A destroyed car lies near collapsed houses after a landslide caused by heavy rains in Minamiaso town, Kumamoto prefecture, southwestern Japan. Evacuation orders were issued to 40,000 people in Kyushu on Saturday alone.

      Japan Self-Defense Force soldiers searched for missing people among collapsed houses following the landslide caused by the heavy rains in Minamiaso town, Kumamoto prefecture, in southwestern Japan. At least 230,000 people across four prefectures in Northern Kyushu, received evacuation orders Saturday as heavy rains continued for a third day.

      The unprecedented rainfall that started Wednesday flooded at least 2,800 homes, according to public broadcaster NHK.

      Local authorities on the main southern island of Kyushu said Sunday that eight people were missing, and 3,600 residents were told to leave their homes. Some 5,440 people were cut off from receiving basic supplies since late Saturday, as fallen trees and mudslides blocked roads and cut off water supplies to the region.

      By Sunday morning, 400,000 others were allowed to return, but the Japan Meteorological Service warned of more heavy rain, landslides and floods.

      "A peak of heavy rain in northern Kyushu has passed, but there is fear that driving rain with thunder may hit northern Kyushu as warm and humid air is flowing to the rain front. Please be vigilant of damage from landslides and floods as part of the ground has already softened and water is still overflowing from rivers because of record rainfalls," JMS said.

      The city of Kyoto, some 500 kilometers (310 miles) east of Kyusho, was also hit Sunday by heavy rainfall of 9 cm per hour, with at least 20 houses flooded. A stream crested over a riverbank in Kyoto, news agencies reported, temporarily trapping 20 people who later were rescued.

      Landslides and torrential downpours continued to endanger survivors in the southwestern sectors, and forecasters predicted more heavy rain for the northern part of the island.