Death Toll Exceeds 100 After Heavy Rainfall Slams Japan

Flooding and landslides have killed at least 50 people and left dozens missing in western areas of Japan

Flooding and landslides have killed at least 50 people and left dozens missing in western areas of Japan

While Monday's clearer weather allowed rescuers to target the more than 60 people still unaccounted for, food and water are in short supply in some of the more remote affected areas.

The Japanese government says at least 100 people have died or are presumed dead from the heavy rains, floods and mudslides that have struck western Japan.

At one point there was an evacuation order in place for up to 2 million people, which reflects the scale of the Japanese flooding disaster.

As the rains finally began to ease, the government said several dozen more people remain missing. A survey undertaken in 2000 found that as many as 49% of Japanese homes had specific flood coverage, a percentage that is likely to be higher today.

Some homes were smashed, while others were tilting precariously.

That puts many people's homes in the path of potential landslides and flooding.

Operations to discharge water are underway at an submerged housing area in Kurashiki, Okayama prefecture in Japan.

His wife and children took shelter in the second floor of their home, while the store filled up with water.

Some Hiroshima residents compared it to a similar crisis that resulted in 2014 when heavy rain caused landslides that killed 77 people.

"I got married here, and we built this house two years afterwards".

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The city of Kurashiki, with a population of almost 500,000, has been hit hardest by the torrential rain that pounded western Japan with three times the usual amount for July.

A new evacuation order went out on Tuesday in a part of Hiroshima after a river blocked by debris overflowed its banks, affecting 23,000 people.

The assessment of casualties has been hard because of the widespread area affected by the rainfall, flooding and landslides.

Hundreds of people have been injured, and dozens of homes have been completely destroyed in the disastrous downpours; most of the deaths have occurred in Hiroshima subdivision.

Saburo Yokoyama, 82, said he was horrified when he saw floodwater flowing just outside his house.

Ryutaro Hirakawa, 18, said he fled his house after smelling a odd odour coming from the ground, a sign of a landslide. "In front of our house had become a river, and was making a huge noise", he said. In Seki, Gifu Prefecture, a man's auto was overturned in a canal.

Mr Abe cancelled a planned July 11-18 trip to Europe and the Middle East to oversee the emergency response.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned at an emergency government meeting that "the situation is extremely serious" and ordered his government to "make an all-out effort" to rescue those affected.

"It was close. If we had been five minutes later, we would not have made it", said Yusuke Suwa, who fled by vehicle with his wife early on Saturday when an evacuation order came after midnight.

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