Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Rescue workers search for survivors in Japan floods

Rescue workers search for survivors in Japan floods

The rain finally lifted on Monday.

Local government officials said pumping trucks were being deployed to help restore access to some of the worst-hit areas in the area, and with the rains stopped, water was starting to recede.

Residents look at a flooded road and houses in Kurashiki, Okayama prefecture.

A range of companies including Mazda Motor Corp, Daihatsu Motor Co and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd halted work at factories as power and water supplies in wide parts of Hiroshima and Okayama remained cut off, according to Bloomberg.

The premier faced some criticism after a photograph made the rounds on Twitter showing him and the defence minister at a dinner with lawmakers last Thursday, just as the rain was worsening.

The nose of a white auto was just visible underneath the entire top floor of one home that had been torn from the rest of a building and swept down a hillside.

"The record rainfalls in various parts of the country have caused rivers to burst their banks, and triggered large scale floods and landslides in several areas", Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Sunday.

About 1.5 million people have been ordered to leave their homes and three million more advised to do so.

Temperatures rose in disaster-affected areas from dawn on Tuesday, forcing rescue teams to battle with the heat on top of rescue operations and debris removal.

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"Everything was destroyed and both of our cars were totalled as well", said a woman in her forties, who was taking shelter in the gym with her brother and parents.

"I had never seen anything like this", he said on TBS television, standing outside his restaurant in Hiroshima city while wearing a helmet.

Some of the affected areas include Kyoto, Yamaguchi, Ehime, Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Hyogo, Shiga, Gifu, Kochi and Saga, with the Hiroshima and Okayama Prefectures among the hardest hit.

In Hiroshima, 12 people were caught up in landslides in the residential areas of Kawasumi in Kumano-cho section of Hiroshima. As of Sunday evening, local Japanese media reports say at least 88 people have died and 58 are missing, according to TIME. 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.

Authorities warned that landslides could strike even after rain subsides as the calamity shaped up to be potentially the worst in decades.

More rain is expected over the next few days.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said "the rescue efforts are a race against time", as emergency workers hurry to rescue individuals waiting on the roofs of their homes in flooded villages, the Guardian reported.

About 73,000 rescue workers, police and personnel from the country's Self Defense Force had reportedly been mobilized.

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