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Rain hampers landslide rescue in Japan

Friday, August 22, 2014 - 01:21

Heavy rain hampers rescue operations in Japan's Hiroshima prefecture where a deadly landslide kills at least 39 people, with more than 50 still missing. Sarah Toms reports.

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Rescue workers in Japan dig through the thick cloying mud with shovels. A deadly landslide on Wednesday turned this neighbourhood in northern Hiroshima into a mangled heap of rubble and sludge. The torrential rain that caused this began on Wednesday, when a month's rain fell in one night. The rain has delayed the search and now rescuers are afraid it could set off more landslides. Buildings and homes were demolished. Whole families were buried alive. This woman weeps as she learns that a neighbour's child was found dead. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPAN RESCUE ASSOCIATION, TAKERU OKA, SAYING: "It could be said in any disasters, but the extent of the damage here is bigger than we first through from the initial reports. Even looking at the disaster site, it's still not possibly to fully grasp the full extent of the disaster, and as a result, the numbers of missing keeps increasing." Many residents take refuge at local schools, where clothes and hot meals are being distributed to people who have lost everything. Japan is a very mountainous country and landslides are not uncommon. But this latest disaster has left rescuers fearing the worst as the death toll mounts and search dogs are brought in to look for the dozens of people still missing.

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Rain hampers landslide rescue in Japan

Friday, August 22, 2014 - 01:21