Death toll from heavy rain in Japan up to 51, 46 missing

Tokyo, The number of people who have died in torrential rains

that pummelled wide areas of western Japan has reached at least 51,

while six people are in critical condition and 46 others still missing, local media reported on Sunday, according to dpa.

At least 23 people were confirmed dead and 21 others unaccounted for in the western prefecture of Hiroshima, which was hit the hardest by landslides, while 18 were killed and seven are missing in Ehime on the south-western island of Shikoku, broadcaster NHK reported.

About 3.6 million people were ordered to evacuate their homes in 18 prefectures, including 1.7 million in Hiroshima and 77,000 in Osaka, NHK said.

Osaka, Japan's second-largest metropolitan area, was reeling from a magnitude-6.1 earthquake in mid-June, which left four dead and more than 400 injured in the prefecture and surrounding areas.

A seasonal rain front dumped record rain over a large area of western Japan, triggering landslides and flooding that hit homes and swept away cars.

Source: Saudi Press Agency