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Flash floods in Japan leave trail of destruction

Kyodo via Reuters

An aerial view shows firefighters searching among collapsed houses following a landslide caused by heavy rains in Minamiaso town, Kumamoto prefecture, Japan, on July 12, 2012.

Jiji Press via AFP - Getty Images

Floodwaters engulf a river at Kumamoto city on Japan's southern island of Kyushu on July 12, 2012.

Arata Yamamoto of NBC News reports — An unprecedented 20 inches of rain descended on the town of Aso in southwestern Japan, inundating homes and rice paddies and killing at least 6 people. 20 people are still reportedly missing.

Images on local news reports showed cars being dragged into the raging rivers and houses destroyed by landslides. But by around noon time the rain had stopped, allowing for the clean up efforts to kick in.

The local fire department in Aso District said they had managed to rescue 8 people trapped in mudslides.

Floodwaters have turned part of western Japan into a disaster zone after nearly 2 feet of rain fell in just 8 hours. At least three people have been killed and an evacuation order has been given to 50,000 people. Karl Bostic of NBC News reports.

Jiji Press via AFP - Getty Images

A man walks along a road covered in mud after heavy rains fell in Kumamoto city on July 12, 2012.

Kyodo via Reuters

An aerial view shows firefighters searching among collapsed houses following a landslide caused by heavy rains in Minamiaso town on July 12, 2012.

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