Death toll rises to seven in Japan flooding

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The death toll from torrential rains and flooding in eastern Japan rose Sunday to seven with the confirmation of the deaths of three more men, media reports said.

Toru Takasugi, mayor of Joso, one of the worst-hit cities, apologized at a press conference that some residents were not ordered to evacuate until the Kinugawa River had burst its banks.

About 3,000 residents of the city 45 kilometres north of Tokyo remain unable to return to their homes after the river inundated the city and farm fields Thursday. More than 11,000 homes were damaged or carried away in the typhoon-generated floods.

Helicopters were used to pull about 1,100 people from the roofs of their homes and commercial buildings in Joso, and some residents had to be rescued by boat.

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