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Six killed in torrential downpour

Torrential rains triggered floods and landslides in southern Japan, leaving at least six people dead and 10 others missing, including elderly residents at a nursing home, officials said today.

A mudslide hit a nursing home in Hofu City in Yamaguchi Prefecture yesterday, killing three people and injuring another, as the ground floor of the two-storey building was inundated.

Rescue workers and dogs today searched for four residents who were still missing.

Most of the 90 residents were evacuated to the roof and airlifted out by helicopter.

Also in Hofu, an 85-year-old woman was buried in a separate landslide and found dead, while another person drowned after being washed into a swollen river.

Officials said that in addition to the four missing from the nursing home, six other people - five in Hofu and another in a nearby city of Mine - were still unaccounted for.

Rivers and canals flooded at more than 100 locations, while at least 110 landslides were reported in Hofu, which lies about 620 miles (1,000 km) south-west of Tokyo.

A seasonal rain front has brought torrential downpours in south-western Japan since the weekend where more than 10 inches of rainfall was reported in 24 hours.