TOKYO (AFP) - The death toll from landslides and floods in an earthquake-battered region of southern Japan has risen to six, an official said Wednesday (June 22), with all missing now accounted for.
A man in his 80s and a 53-year-old woman were confirmed dead after being found Tuesday by rescuers where landslides hit in the southern prefecture of Kumamoto.
"We found the last person who had been missing yesterday... the woman was confirmed dead," Kumamoto official Motoko Takata told AFP, adding that thousands of people were still unable to return home.
More than 6,000 residents in the area evacuated their homes, including those who had fled to safety after two earthquakes in April.
The 6.2-magnitude and 7.0-magnitude tremors were followed by more than 1,700 aftershocks, which broke up the ground in many areas, officials said, leaving them vulnerable to the heavy seasonal rains that hit Japan at this time of year.
The tremors left 49 dead and caused widespread damage.
Local residents reported swollen rivers flooding streets and houses with knee-high water, while others said they heard roaring noises in areas hit by night-time landslides.
More rain was expected in coming days, the weather agency said.
On Wednesday, the Japan Meteorological Agency maintained warnings of heavy rain-induced landslides, thunderstorms and floods on the southern Kyushu island which includes Kumamoto.