• Kyodo


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday will visit Kumamoto, the prefecture hit hardest by torrential rain a week ago, as recovery efforts continued after more than 100 rivers in the region and elsewhere overflowed.

Abe’s first tour to see the devastation will include a meeting with Gov. Ikuo Kabashima and a visit to the Senjuen nursing home, where 14 people died after the Kuma River flooded, the Prime Minister’s Office said Sunday.

The rain, which also caused hundreds of mudslides, left 62 people dead in Kumamoto and four others in neighboring prefectures. Twelve people remain missing in the region.

The weather agency warned of further mudslides and overflowing rivers as heavy rainfall is again expected in western Japan from Monday.

The widespread rain caused a 1,200 to 1,300-year-old tree to fall Saturday in Gifu Prefecture. Officials believe the ground had become too soft to support the more than 40-meter-tall tree at Shinmei Shrine in Mizunami.

As of Sunday, 102 rivers in 12 prefectures had overflowed their banks and there had been 302 cases of damage due to landslides in 27 prefectures, according to the land ministry.

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