16 Jul 2012

Japanese flood evacuees begin to return

9:50 pm on 16 July 2012

Evacuees in Japan have started returning to their homes after record rainfall forced hundreds of thousands to flee and left at least 32 people dead or missing.

The rainfall wrought devastation in southwest Japan, with rivers bursting their banks, and muddy water inundating houses.

Troops were called in to airlift supplies to those cut off by landslides and flooding, while local authorities dispatched rescue helicopters to ferry the elderly to hospital.

The death toll from landslides and floods has risen to 26, with rescuers on the island of Kyushu still searching for six missing people.