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Houses are seen from the air in the flood-ravaged city of Hitoyoshi in Kumamoto Prefecture on July 5.   © Kyodo
Natural disasters

In pictures: Torrential rains devastate southwestern Japan

Dozens die on the island of Kyushu in heavy flooding as river overflows

YUKI KOHARA, Nikkei Asian Review photo editor | Japan

TOKYO -- Record-breaking torrential rains in southwestern Japan since the weekend have spawned widespread flooding and caused dozens of deaths on the island of Kyushu.

As of Monday evening, at least 44 people had been confirmed dead and 10 others were missing, Kyodo News reported.

Reports say that more than 1,000 households were cut off in several towns in Kumamoto Prefecture as the Kuma River overflowed its banks.

More heavy seasonal rain on Monday hit Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures, which border Kumamoto. Police, firefighters and Self-Defense Forces personnel were continuing to carry out rescue operations and search for the missing.

  © Kyodo

Houses are inundated in the city of Hitoyoshi in Kumamoto after the Kuma River flooded on July 4.

  © Kyodo

A woman is rescued by Self-Defense Force personnel in the Kumamoto Prefecture village of Kuma on July 5.

  © Kyodo

An SOS message is seen on the grounds of a former elementary school in the city of Yatsushiro in Kumamoto on July 5.

  © Kyodo

Self-Defense Forces personnel escort a person rescued by boat in Kuma on July 5.

  © Kyodo

Self-Defense Forces personnel lead evacuees by boat in Kuma on July 5.

  © Kyodo

A collapsed bridge can be seen over the swollen Kuma River in Yatsushiro on July 5.

(Photo by Shinya Sawai)

A man stands on another collapsed Kuma River on July 5.

(Photo by Shinya Sawai)

A woman's temperature is taken at the entrance of an evacuation shelter in Yatsushiro on July 5.

(Photo by Shinya Sawai)

A woman sits on the floor and maintains social distance at an evacuation shelter in Yatsushiro on July 5.

  © Kyodo

A man sleeps at an evacuation shelter in Hitoyoshi on July 6.

A police officer stands directs traffic while standing on a muddy street on July 5 in Hitoyoshi.

  © Kyodo

People walk past a collapsed house in Kuma on July 5.

People work to clear mud in Hitoyoshi on July 5.

An overturned car is surrounded by driftwood nearby the Kuma River on July 5 in Hitoyoshi.

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