16 dead in Japan as heavy rain triggers floods, mudslides

TOKYO (HRNW) – At least 16 people are dead after torrential rain in Japan triggered massive floods and mudslides, local media said Sunday, as rescue workers sift through debris in search of a dozen missing.

The floods in Kumamoto region on the southwestern island of Kyushu have destroyed houses, swept away vehicles and caused bridges to collapse, leaving many towns submerged and communities cut off.

More than 200,000 people have been ordered to evacuate as authorities urge those in emergency shelters to wash their hands and maintain a social distance to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

In addition to the 16 dead, national broadcaster NHK said another 20 were in a state of “cardio-respiratory arrest”, a term often used in Japan before a doctor officially certifies death.

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