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39 dead, dozens missing in Japan landslides

Japan-Landslide-7

Japan Ground Self Defense Force personnel search for missing residents in a mud-ridden residential area following a massive landslide in Hiroshima.

kyodo news Enlarge

TOKYO — Japanese police say the death toll from rain-triggered landslides on the outskirts of Hiroshima city has risen to 39, with 51 people still missing.

Search efforts continued today, a day after a series of landslides crushed dozens of houses, burying residents underneath them.

Hillsides caved in or were swept down into residential areas in at least five valleys in the suburbs of the western Japanese city after heavy rains left slopes unstable.

Hiroshima prefectural police said 39 people were confirmed dead and 51 others were missing as of midday today. The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said 23 people were injured, 13 seriously.

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