Japan floods, mudslides leave 6 dead, 19 missing – reports

TOKYO — At least six people have died and 19 are missing after torrential rains battered southwestern Japan, causing flooding in the rural areas, local media reported.

Two days of downfall have swept away homes, bridges and cut off roads, stranding thousands of residents in the Fukuoka and Oita prefectures on the Kyusyu island.

Bodies of three victims were found in the Asakura city in Fukuoka after a nearby river overflew and almost submerged the city, according to the Kyodo news agency.

A rescue worker was killed in a mudslide and another man was found dead in a river in the neighboring Oita prefecture.

The Japanese cabinet held an emergency meeting early on Thursday, with Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso describing the situation as beyond the imagination.

The government spokesman said 7,500 police, soldiers and firefighters had been sent to rescue. Sputnik-northboundasia.com