One dead, three missing following Yamaguchi rains

Kyodo

One woman was found dead after her house was wrecked in a mudslide Sunday as record-high rainfall deluged parts of western Japan, leaving three people missing, police said Monday.

The woman found dead in Hagi, Yamaguchi Prefecture, was identified as 79-year-old Yoshino Tashima, police said.

The three missing are two men also from Hagi — one 84 and one in his 60s whose empty vehicle was found — and a 24-year-old man forced to evacuate his home in Tsuwano, Shimane Prefecture.

The Meteorological Agency warned that the downpours would reach unprecedented levels in some areas.

In Tsuwano, many people were marooned after the Tsuwano River flooded its banks. Water main and power failures have paralyzed part of the town.

Two Ground Self-Defense Force helicopters carried about 200 elementary and junior high school children from a campsite and education facilities in the city of Yamaguchi to a nearby junior high school in the morning.

The government said Monday that it will dispatch a mission to Shimane and Yamaguchi prefectures to conduct a two-day investigation.

In Tsuwano, up to 81 people in 32 households were stranded in the Sasayama area, along with 134 people in 56 households in two other areas.

In Yamaguchi Prefecture, authorities continued search and survey operations while calling for reinforcements from prefectural riot police.

Train runs were meanwhile disrupted on Japan Railway’s Yamaguchi and Sanin lines by missing bridges and landslides.