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Death toll from Hiroshima landslides reaches 50

Published on Aug 24, 2014 10:06 AM
 
Police officers search for survivors at a site where a landslide swept through a residential area at Asaminami ward in Hiroshima, western Japan, on Aug 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKY (AFP) - The death toll from devastating midweek landslides in Hiroshima rose to 50 on Sunday, as fresh rain stoked fears of more disasters and hampered the round-the-clock search for survivors.

The regional police headquarters in the western Japan city said 38 other people remained unaccounted for, four days after unusual downpours triggered landslides that swallowed dozens of homes, many of them perched on hillside housing areas.

A total of about 3,000 rescuers including ground troops, fire fighters and police continued digging through mud and debris but the search and rescue operation overnight was halted at around dawn on Sunday as fresh rain raised concerns about more landslips, public broadcaster NHK reported.

About 1,700 people remained sheltered at 13 safe public facilities while the Hiroshima city government upheld evacuation orders and warnings for 164,000 residents in the disaster areas. The body of a 83-year-old man was found early Sunday, raising the death toll to 50, a prefectural police spokesman said.

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