Rain related death toll rises to 21 in Japan

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TOKYO, Death toll has risen to 21 while at
least 47 people are still missing as wide swathes of Japan were pummeled by
torrential rain since Thursday, local media reported Saturday.

Record levels of rainfall have continued to hit wide swathes of Japan with
evacuation orders or advisories being issued for more than 3 million
households across 20 prefectures.

Some 48,000 members of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, police and
firefighters are searching for the people trapped or wounded in landslides
and flooding triggered by the heavy rain, according to the government.

The Japanese government has set up a liaison unit at the crisis management
center of the prime minister’s office to gather information.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), an active seasonal
rain front is causing torrential rain in most eastern and western regions of
Japan, which could continue until Sunday.

The agency said that atmospheric conditions from western to northern Japan
are set to remain very unstable owing to warm and moist air flowing into a
low pressure system and an active front close to northern Japan.

The agency warned that Japan’s Kinki region, which includes Kyoto, Hyogo
and Osaka prefectures, could be particularly hard-hit by downpours,
escalating the risk of floods, landslides, lightning and tornadoes.

Rivers from Hokkaido to Kyushu have been reported as running at above
flood warning levels and the weather agency has warned of further landslides.

The JMA urged people to stay vigilant and listen out for emergency alarms
from local governments issuing advisories or calling for immediate
evacuations.