Flooding and landslides caused by torrential rain in southern Japan has left at least 35 people dead, death toll expected to increase.
According to reports, standing water and risk of more mudslides delayed rescue operations.
The victims include 14 residents of a nursing home that was flooded when a river overflowed its banks. Another 50 residents and 30 caregivers were rescued by boats on Sunday.
More than a dozen people were missing, and more than 2,000 households remained cut off in eight municipalities in Kumamoto prefecture on Japan’s southwestern Kyushu island, reports said.
The floodwaters cut off roads and washed away buildings. More than 4,650 homes in Kumamoto prefecture remained without power, according to the Kyushu Electric Power Co.
Japan’s Meteorological Agency said such rainfall had never been seen before in the region. As much as 4 inches an hour fell at one time.
The heavy rainfall on Friday and Saturday in Kumamoto totaled nearly 20 inches in Minamata and nearly 16 inches in Kuma, Yunomae and Amakusa, according to the Meteorological Agency.
More than 200,000 residents in Kumamoto and neighboring Kagoshima prefecture were ordered to evacuate on Saturday.
More torrential rain is forecast in parts of western Japan through Tuesday.