Dozens killed in Japan floods

Dozens killed in Japan floods

According to local reports, many people chose to stay at home even after the weather agency issued emergency warnings and evacuation orders following the heavy rain and thus lost the chance to escape when flooding or landslides occurred.

Japan has elaborate ways to deal with natural disasters, but unprecedented rains took people by surprise, killing at least 148 people.

Water accumulating behind piles of debris blocking rivers also posed a danger after a swollen river rushed into a Fukuyama residential area on Monday, prompting more evacuation orders.

The death toll continued to rise while government stepped up search and rescue efforts after torrential rain pummeled western Japan, causing flooding and landslides.

Several dozen Mihara residents ventured down from shelters on Sunday to inspect the damage to their homes in the Hongo district of the city, where many locals are rice farmers.

Around 21 people are unaccounted for since the downpour that began late last week, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Thursday.

"We can not take baths, the toilet doesn't work, and our food stockpile is running low", 23-year old nursery school worker Yumeko Matsui tells NBC.

"We have to prioritize (which train services) can resume, according to their importance", a JR West official said.

(Reuters/Issei Kato) A vehicle is submerged at a flooded area in Mabi.

Construction worker Fukuyoshi Doi volunteering to get that done, and supervised other volunteers who gathered to help.

About a dozen of Tanimoto's neighbors were found dead at the apartment complex after floods hit the area.

The worst hit area was Hiroshima prefecture.

On Wednesday, residents lined up for water under a scorching sun as temperatures rose to 35 Celsius, raising the risk of heat stroke.

People affected by the recent flooding rest at a makeshift shelter in Mabi, Okayama prefecture, Japan, July 11, 2018.

"Without water, we can't really clean anything up". People who have evacuated their homes have since returned and started cleanup. The government mobilised 75,000 troops and emergency workers and almost 80 helicopters for the search and rescue effort, Suga said.

Both emergency services, households and evacuees have struggled with telecommunications services as NTT West said that almost 16,000 landlines and internet connections are down affecting an expansive area of western Japan.

"I saw the tremendous scars (left by the rain)", Abe said following his visit to Okayama Prefecture on Wednesday during a task force meeting, while revealing that the government has secured about 71,000 dwellings as temporary housing for people affected by the disaster. The Japan Meteorological Agency has reported that one area of the Kochi prefecture experienced a staggering 26.3 centimeters (10.4 inches) of precipitation in just three hours, almost as much as the average amount for the entire month of July (32.8 centimeters or 12.9 inches), typically southwestern Japan's second wettest month after June.

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