Death toll following Japan floods hits 199

Severe rainfall leaves dozens dead in Japan

Severe rainfall leaves dozens dead in Japan

The worst hit area was Hiroshima prefecture.

More than 200,000 households had no water a week after torrential rains caused floods and set off landslides across western Japan, bringing death and destruction to decades-old communities built on mountain slopes and flood plains.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said more than 50 people were still unaccounted for as of Tuesday afternoon, majority in the hardest-hit Hiroshima area.

"The government will push for the swift delivery of support to the disaster victims", Suga said.

It goes without saying that the central government and various local governments are doing their utmost to tackle the crisis and to help the most vulnerable.

More than 70,000 military, police and firefighters toiled through the debris in a grim search for the missing. He canceled a scheduled trip to Europe and the Mideast to focus on disaster relief efforts.

In the hard-hit Mabi district in Okayama prefecture, piles of water-damaged refrigerators, washing machines and furniture lined the streets as residents used hoses to wash mud out of their homes.

"People believe Okayama is very safe, nobody thought that [a disaster] would happen to this city", Yusuke Fujii, who lives in Osaka but travelled to Okayama to visit his grandmother, told the BBC.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets local residents staying at an evacuation centre in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo July 11, 2018.

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Guterres also said the United Nations was ready to provide support if Tokyo requested it.

"Physically weak people may have been late in getting out when it suddenly started raining hard, swamping the area", he told AFP.

Authorities said high temperatures were forecast for Monday, posing new challenges for the many people stuck in modestly equipped shelters with few possessions or damaged homes with no water or electricity.

Some cities were completely inundated in a matter of hours.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported about 364 millimeters (14.3 inches) of rain fell between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. Sunday in the city of Uwajima - approximately 1.5 times the average monthly rainfall for July.

Policemen check a damaged vehicle following heavy rains and flooding in Hiroshima.

Volunteers and rescue workers in southwest Japan hoping to find those still missing from a week of torrential storms and landslides that have already killed at least 200 people.

This has become one of the deadliest natural disasters to hit Japan since the quake and tsunami at Fukushima in 2011 where 20,000 were killed or missing. More than 100 people were confirmed dead in the disaster.

Local government officials said pumping trucks were being deployed to help restore access to some of the worst-hit areas, and on Monday flood water was finally starting to recede as the rains stopped. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

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