Japan rains toll at 200


TOKYO — The death toll from the torrential rains that have battered western Japan reached 200, authorities said Thursday, as search and rescue missions continue to find dozens still missing in the wake of flooding and landslides.

More than 70,000 personnel are involved in ongoing search and rescue missions for the 60 or more people still unaccounted for in the areas affected by the deluge.

These include the hardest-hit regions of Hiroshima, Okayama and Ehime prefectures.
The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said that as of early Thursday morning, 6,700 people remained in emergency evacuation shelters.

Around 240,000 homes have been cut off from water in western Japan and transportation systems have also been severely disrupted.

West Japan Railway Co. and local operators of the 27 lines in the affected areas have reported damage at more than 100 locations.