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At Least 50 People Killed As Landslides Sweep Away Homes In Japan

In Japan's Hiroshima prefecture, torrential rains caused landslides and floods Wednesday that left at least 50 people dead and 38 others were still reported missing on Sunday.

Posted on August 20, 2014, at 12:12 a.m. ET

UPDATED — Aug. 23, 2 a.m. ET:

Landslides caused by torrential rains killed at least 50 people near Hiroshima in western Japan on Wednesday, CNN reported. One of the dead was a firefighter who was buried by debris while trying to help in the rescue efforts.

Kyodo / Reuters

At least one person was swept away by flooding, while others were buried in the landslides.

Kyodo / Reuters

Among the dead was a 2-year-old boy who was buried in a landslide.

38 people are still believed to be missing. Rescue and recovery efforts continue.

Kyodo / Reuters

"A few people were washed away and it is hard to know exactly how many are unaccounted for," local government official Nakatoshi Okamoto said according to the BBC.

Japan's crowded hilly regions are especially prone to damage from mudslides and flooding. Torrential rains before dawn Tuesday caused steep slopes to collapse in an area with several newly constructed homes.


A record 8.03 inches of rain fell in three hours in Asakita Ward, which more than doubled the previous rainfall record for the area, according to the Weather Channel.

Kyodo / Reuters

More rain could cause additional landslides and flooding, officials warned.

Last year in Japan, a typhoon triggered landslides and flooding on Izu Oshima island, causing at least 35 deaths.