Japan rescuers search house to house as flood toll hits 141

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

Forty-eight residents remain unaccounted-for in Hiroshima Prefecture, and 20 are still missing in Okayama Prefecture.

Authorities on Tuesday were also struggling to restore utilities to the flood-stricken areas.

A police officer looks into a vehicle buried in mud during a search operation in the aftermath of heavy rains in Kure, Hiroshima prefecture, southwestern Japan, Wednesday, July 11, 2018.

In Okayama Prefecture, more than 1,000 people were trapped on the roofs of buildings that were submerged by floods following the bursting of three dikes on the nearby Oda River. As of noon yesterday, electricity to about 11,300 households remained cut off, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said.

"So many people called".

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference the same day that the government is expected to direct the roughly ¥2 billion in reserve funds to the relief effort that includes the procurement of water, food, air conditioning and portable toilets.

People sat cross-legged on thin mats on a gymnasium floor in one centre, plastic bags of belongings piled around them and bedding folded off to the side.

Japan monitors weather conditions and issues warnings early, but its dense population means every bit of usable land is built on in the mostly mountainous country, leaving it prone to disasters.

A man gets home over a flooded river in Saka, Hiroshima prefecture on July 8, 2018.

"I'm anxious there could be a significant impact on production, consumption and tourism", Toshiro Miyashita, Bank of Japan's Fukuoka branch manager, who oversees the Kyushu region, told a news conference.

Suga said the government set up a taskforce and was spending $26 million to hasten deliveries of supplies and other support for evacuation centers and residents in the region.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe canceled a planned trip to Europe and the Middle East to oversee disaster activities.

To ensure smooth transportation of relief goods, the government also chose to treat trucks that usually deliver products to convenience stores and others as emergency vehicles. Some 30,000 people remained in shelters on Sunday, while the evacuation orders and advisories were issued for almost 6 million people, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency. Residents lined up for water under the scorching sun as temperatures rose to 35 Celsius - 95 Fahrenheit, raising risks of heat stroke.

Hiroshima prefecture has been severely affected by rains.

The government has mobilized 75,000 troops and emergency workers and almost 80 helicopters for the search and rescue effort, Suga said.

Japan issues weather warnings early, but its dense population means that nearly every bit of usable land, including some flood plains, is built on in the mostly mountainous country, leaving it prone to disasters.

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