BY MARI YAMAGUCHI, TOKYO — Deep floodwaters and the risk of more mudslides that left about 20 people confirmed or presumed dead are hampering search and rescue operations in southern Japan, including at elderly home facilities where more than a dozen perished and scores are still stranded.
Rescue helicopters plucked more people from their homes in the Kumamoto region.
Up to 10,000 defense troops, the coast guard and fire brigades are taking part in the operation.
Large areas along the Kuma River are swallowed by floodwaters with many houses, buildings and vehicles submerged almost up to their roofs.
Mudslides smashed into houses, sending people atop rooftops waiving at rescuers.
At a flooded elderly care home in Kuma Village, 14 residents were presumed dead after rescuers reached them on Saturday.