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Four dead, several missing in Japan landslides
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Aug 20, 2014

This picture shows a landslide next to a group of houses after heavy rains in Japan. Image courtesy AFP.

Storms knock out power, strand residents in Phoenix
Los Angeles (AFP) Aug 20, 2014 - Heavy rains lashed the normally dry Phoenix area in the southwestern United States on Tuesday, triggering flash floods, leaving thousands of people without power and stranding others on roof tops.

The National Weather Service issued a warning for flash floods, saying there was the threat of further "very heavy rainfall" and thunderstorms.

A major highway, Interstate 17, was temporarily closed, officials told AFP, with many other streets or major roads rendered impassable because of flooding and mudslides.

The Arizona state website warned that "the rain is expected to continue for the next few days."

About 3,000 people were without power in the region, it said, while US media showed footage of firefighters landing on the roof of one house to dramatically rescue two women stranded by fast-flowing torrents of water.

At least four people have been killed and several more are missing as heavy rain triggered landslides in the western Japanese city of Hiroshima, rescuers said Wednesday, while local media reported the death toll has reached seven.

"We haven't assessed the full extent yet but four people have been confirmed dead," said a spokesman for Hiroshima's fire department, which operates the city's emergency services.

Rescuers said the victims of the disaster which struck overnight included a two-year-old child and a 77-year-old woman.

Another emergency services spokesman said several more people were missing although the exact number was not yet confirmed.

There are "several spots where people are supposed to be buried alive, and we still don't know how many people are missing", he told AFP.

Public broadcaster NHK and private broadcaster Nippon TV said at least seven people had died.

NHK said 13 people were also missing, while Nippon TV said at least 23 were unaccounted for, citing police and rescue officials.

Television footage showed houses destroyed by landslides that tore down the mountains situated behind them, with torrents of muddy water running through the wrecked buildings.


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