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Four Foot Rain Japan*

Posted 8/2/2004 11:10 AM

Deluge floods southern Japan

TOKYO (AP) — Heavy rain drenched a broad swath of southern Japan on Monday, causing flash floods and landslides that killed an elderly woman and left two people missing. Hundreds fled their homes and more than a dozen injuries were reported.

Since last Friday, when Typhoon Namtheun drew near the southern main islands of Shikoku and Kyushu, as much as 48 inches of rain have fallen in some areas, national Fire and Disaster Management Agency spokesman Hideyuki Shigematsu said.

Monday's storm hit 10 prefectures (states), flooding or leveling 2,140 homes and leaving at least 18 people injured, including three seriously, he said.

Heavy rain was expected to continue through Tuesday in parts of southern Japan, the Meteorological Agency said.

The worst damage was reported on southern Shikoku island.

An 84-year-old woman's body was found floating in a river in Matsuyama city, 425 miles southwest of Tokyo, Shigematsu said.

In neighboring Tokushima prefecture, police and fire fighters were searching for a couple in their 70s, who were missing after their home was partially buried by a mudslide, he said. More than 100 people in the area were ordered to leave their homes for the safety of temporary shelters, because of flash flood warnings.

Earlier this month, torrential rains in northern Japan killed 18 people and flooded almost 36,000 homes. The region received one-fifth of its annual average rainfall in the span of a couple weeks.

(Original Len: 1679 Condensed Len: 2011)

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