Two dead and 16 presumed dead in torrential rain in Japan

(Tokyo) Two people died and 16 are presumed to have died in western Japan, hit by torrential rains which caused the d water from their beds and triggered landslides, Japanese media reported on Sunday.

France Media Agency

A woman and a man, both in their eighties, were killed by landslides in two different municipalities in the Kumamoto region, according to the public television channel NHK and two other national media.

Sixteen other people are in a state of “cardiopulmonary arrest,” reported NHK, using a term used in Japan before official confirmation of death by a doctor.

Fourteen of these 16 alleged deaths were announced on Saturday by the governor of the Kumamoto region, Ikuo Kabashima. They are residents of a water-overgrown retirement home.

Six people are missing, specifies the television channel.

Officials from the region and the municipalities affected by the natural disaster were unable to confirm the deaths reported by the media on Sunday morning.

They indicated that they were taking measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus in shelters set up across the region, such as respecting the distance between families.

Rescue teams and soldiers from the Self-Defense Forces worked all night trying to find missing persons and come to the aid of residents stranded in their homes.

Although the precipitation subsided in Kumamoto on Sunday morning, broken bridges and blocked roads isolated groups of residents, the NHK said.

The floods swept away vehicles and submerged cities.

NHK showed an aerial view of a huge “SOS” sign created on the grounds of a disused elementary school in the town of Yatsushiro, where a dozen people were making big signs towards the media helicopters and help, using white towels and umbrellas.