Japan On Alert For More Heavy Rain

Japan on alert for more heavy rain

Officials in the city of Hitoyoshi in Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan, say they are unable to contact 40 people. Family and friends haven't been able to reach them. Torrential downpours have caused widespread flooding and landslides in various parts of the country. More than 60 people are dead and 16 officially missing.

The southwestern island of Kyushu has borne the brunt of the damage.

A bridge on the Kuma River was washed away. The road on the riverbank collapsed. Mud and parts of uprooted trees have made it inside buildings, some up to the second floor.

A man said his 67-year-old father was found dead in his flooded home. He said he regrets fighting with his father a lot, and wishes he had taken his child to visit more often.

Flooding has turned fields and greenhouses into swamps.

One farmer says his 76 greenhouses were damaged. He says he was prepared for heavy rain because his land has been damaged in the past, but this year's was more than he expected.

Aside from the economic damage, the extreme rain is presenting a new threat in the age of the coronavirus.

People in evacuation shelters are taking precautions to keep the virus at bay.

In Gifu, more than 100 houses were inundated when the Hida River flooded. Mud and rocks hit train tracks, roads, and houses.

Residents are struggling to clean up on their own since heavy machinery can't be brought in to some areas. One of them said he doesn't know where to begin.

At the mountain resort of Kamikochi, landslides left over 200 travelers and workers stranded. Access has since been restored, and travelers safely descended on Thursday.

More than 5,900 houses were damaged across 19 prefectures. But officials say the full extent of the damage is still not clear.