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'Historic' rain in Japan kills several, evacuates thousands

By Sara Shayanian
'Historic' rain in Japan kills several, evacuates thousands
A river nears flood stage in Kitakyushu, Japan, on Friday, following days of what officials called "historic" amounts of rain. Photo by Jiji Press Japan/EPA-EFE

July 6 (UPI) -- Several people have died and many are missing amid heavy rains, flooding and landslides in Japan, officials said Friday.

The "historic" rainfall will keep battering saturated parts of Japan through Sunday, Japan's Meteorological Agency said.

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"I can't remember it ever raining this heavily. It feels like parts of Southeast Asia during the monsoon season," resident Junichi Wakamoto told The Japan Times.

Evacuation orders were issued for Kyoto, Nagaokakyo, Oyamazaki, Minoo, Hirakata and Takatsuki.

As many as 143,000 people were ordered to evacuate Kyoto prefecture and 9,700 others in Osaka prefecture due to an escalating risk of mudslides, officials said.

Several people have been swept away by mudslides or drowned due to the flooding.

A woman in her 50s went missing in Kameoka after leaving in a car later found in a swollen river. In Konan, a man delivering milk has also disappeared.

Trains across west and central Japan were stopped due to the severe weather.

Japanese Defense Forces have sent more than 200 emergency personnel and vehicles to Kyoto.

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