• Kyodo News


The heavy rain that hit western Japan this week has so far claimed eight lives, and at least seven people remain missing, in Gifu, Gunma, Hiroshima and Shimane prefectures, authorities said Friday.

In Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, three members of a family were buried under a collapsed house after two 4-meter-wide boulders from a mountain landed on it at around 2 a.m. Friday, and two were confirmed dead, police said.

Mizuki Kusamoto, 11, was rescued some three hours later, but her 7-year-old brother, Ryoga, and their mother, Rumiko, 37, were found around noon and were confirmed dead after being taken to a hospital.

The local observatory said accumulated rainfall around the disaster site since July 10 had exceeded 200 mm, but there has been no heavy rain since Thursday morning.

Three members of a family trapped Thursday in a house that collapsed in mudslides in Yaotsu, Gifu Prefecture, were all found dead Friday afternoon, authorities said.

Of the missing, Reo Iwagami, 11, was swept away in a river in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture, Friday afternoon.

In Shobara, Hiroshima Prefecture, mudslides engulfed a few houses and its residents are feared missing.

In Kani, Gifu Prefecture, two people were apparently swept away in flooded streets. Authorities learned Friday morning that a 54-year-old company employee is also unaccounted for.

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