• Kyodo News


The rainy season is believed over in a wide area from northern Kyushu to the east of the country, the Japan Meteorological Association said Saturday, as the search continues for a woman missing in Hiroshima Prefecture floods.

The season ended one to five days earlier than usual in most of the areas, leaving only southern Kyushu, where record rains have fallen, and Tohoku still in the rainy spell.

In the city of Shobara in Hiroshima, where torrential rain flooded a river and caused a heavy mudslide that swept away three houses Friday, Ground Self-Defense Force troops, police and firefighters continued efforts to find the missing and rescue others from isolated areas.

Michiyo Amano, 87, who lived alone in one of the houses buried by mud, was the only person still missing as of Saturday evening, out of a total of 10 people previously unaccounted for, city officials said.

Nobody remained cut off, meanwhile, after 13 workers at Shobara Dam’s construction site were airlifted by helicopter Saturday and residents of the city’s Kawakita district were guided to safety by firefighters.

“I was so worried, but I feel relieved now that they were all rescued,” said Noritaka Imada, 31, who works at the Shobara Dam construction site. He was away from the other workers when they were isolated by the torrential rain.

Friday’s heavy rains affected only Shobara and are believed to fall into the category of so-called guerrilla downpours, hitting a limited area due to atmospheric instability.

In the coming week, the weather is likely to be sunny in most areas in the country.

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