Torrential Rains Kill 141 In Japan, Say Government Sources

  • Torrential Rains Kill 141 In Japan, Say Government Sources

Torrential Rains Kill 141 In Japan, Say Government Sources

Rain tapered off across the western region on Monday to reveal blue skies and a scorching sun that pushed temperatures well above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit), fuelling fears of heat-stroke in areas cut off from power or water.

Although evacuation orders were scaled back sharply from the weekend, some 1.7 million people still face orders or advice to keep away from homes, fire and disaster officials said.

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force members use a boat to evacuate residents from a flooded area caused by heavy rains in Kurashiki, Okayama prefecture.

Nearly 2 million people were still subject to evacuation orders, while tens of thousands of rescue workers battled mud, water and rubble to search for survivors stranded in their homes.

Many people started to return and check on their homes and begin clean-up after the rain stopped Monday.

At least 100 people have been killed, with many still unaccounted for.

Some residents of Mabi had shrugged off the warnings given the area's history of floods.

The assessment of casualties has been hard because of the widespread area affected.

The Japan Meteorological Agency had lifted all special rain warnings issued in 11 prefectures by Sunday, and is calling for caution regarding sediment-related disasters in the coming days. Other homes had been tossed upside down.

The death toll has risen steadily in recent days, with the conditions forcing rescue workers to rely on boats and helicopters to extract trapped civilians.

Images from Saka, a small town on the southern coast of Hiroshima Prefecture, show cars buried in mud.

Residents sheltering at the Yano school were provided with water, blankets and cellphone chargers.

"We can not take baths, the toilet doesn't work and our food stockpile is running low", said Yumeko Matsui, whose home in the city of Mihara, in Hiroshima prefecture, has been without water since Saturday.

Koji Tsunomori, 54, lost his 44-year-old wife Nana, whom he married around three weeks ago, in a mudslide in the town of Kumano in Hiroshima.

Another resident, 82-year-old Saburo Yokoyama, 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.

"I'm so sad I lost many books", Ono said. "The front of our house became a river, and was making a huge noise", he said.

AFP reported that Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned on Sunday of a "race against time" to rescue flood victims as new alerts have been issued over the record rains.

Prime Minister Abe announced on Monday that he has canceled a planned trip to Belgium, France, Saudi Arabia and Egypt to concentrate on the disaster relief effort.

"Ten people are officially listed as missing".