Three die, two vanish in deluge

Kyodo News

Torrential rain drenched the western part of the country early Wednesday, leaving three women dead and at least two other people missing, and forcing local governments to recommend that about 300,000 people evacuate from their homes amid flood warnings.

One of the women, who died in a river in Mihara, Hiroshima Prefecture, was identified as Keiko Harada, 77, police said.

Kazue Takatani, 72, who was buried in a mudslide in Kure, Hisoshima, was later confirmed dead, while her husband, Michiaki, 76, was only slightly injured in the incident.

The third woman, who had not been identified as of Wednesday night, drowned in a river in Asakita Ward, Hiroshima.

In Sera, Hiroshima Prefecture, a woman was missing after three others were rescued from a house hit by a landslide. Another landslide also destroyed a house in Keisen, Fukuoka Prefecture, and a 63-year-old woman, who was in the house, was slightly hurt.

In Tsuwano, Shimane Prefecture, an 82-year-old man who left home to throw out garbage failed to return.

Among those subject to evacuation recommendations were 125,000 people in Fukuoka and Saga prefectures, including locations where rainfall exceeding 100 mm per hour was recorded. The remaining 48,000 were in Hiroshima and Yamaguchi prefectures.