Thousands urged to evacuate homes as heavy rains hit Japan

  • World
  • Thursday, 15 Jul 2010

TOKYO (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of people in western and southern Japan have been urged to evacuate their homes as heavy rains caused mudslides and flooded houses, killing two and leaving some missing.

The Meteorological Agency said early on Thursday that torrential rain was expected to hit western and eastern Japan later in the day.

TV images showed some houses tilted after being hit by mudslides, swollen rivers and abandoned cars almost totally submerged in flooded streets. Footage also showed a rescue crew saving a man caught in a fallen tree on a fast-running river.

Kyodo news agency said local governments had recommended that some 300,000 people evacuate from their homes. Heavy rain and mudslides also suspended or delayed bullet and local trains.

In Hiroshima, western Japan, two were killed, one who drowned and one buried in a landslide, and two are missing.

(Reporting by Yoko Nishikawa; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

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