Death toll following Japan floods hits 199

Evarado Alatorre
Julio 13, 2018

The Japan Meteorology Agency issued fresh alerts for mountainous prefectures as the number of disaster victims climbs in areas inundated with rainfall over a long period of time - posing a higher risk for deadly landslides.

A man walks past a devastated street during floods in Saka, Hiroshima prefecture on July 8, 2018.

The rain has completely blanketed some villages, forcing desperate residents to take shelter on their rooftops with flood water swirling below as they wait for rescue. The maps of mandatory evacuation areas indicate that an estimated 2 million people have been displaced from their homes, though it remains unclear how many of these structures will still be standing when citizens are able to return.

The transport ministry said West Japan Railway Co. and other operators of 27 train lines suffered damage at more than 100 locations.

Hiroshima resident Akira Tanimoto on Monday returned to the apartment complex where he and his wife live to check on their unit and their pet birds, which they initially had to leave behind, the Associated Press reported.

"I'm anxious because I have no idea how long it will stay like this".

Volunteers and supplies have begun to arrive in affected areas, although a local official in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, said there are "not enough people or vehicles" to distribute the abundant aid.

"There are still many people missing and others in need of help, we are working against time", Abe said on Sunday morning.

Authorities have also taken to social media to warn residents as health worries increased amid scorching heat and the threat of new floods. Receding waters in some districts are giving people a headstart to clear away damage but the lack of water supply is hindering cleaning efforts.

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"We are doing our best".

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talks with children evacuated to an evacuation center in Kurashiki, Okayama prefecture, southwestern Japan, Wednesday, July 11, 2018.

"We can accept losing things like home appliances, hurts that our memories are all gone", said Hiroko Fukuda. Time is running out.

"I was in a auto and massive floods of water gushed towards me from the front and back and then engulfed the road".

"I can't go back if I wanted to", the 66-year-old retired Self-Defence serviceman said, holding a bird cage, in which the birds chirped as he spoke.

With the death toll already at 119 as of Monday, July 9, torrential rains brought about by seasonal storm fronts are expected to bring further damage to Western Japan, according to official reports in Japan. "Some people have been isolated, calling for rescue".

At least 255,000 households remain without water as of Tuesday evening, NHK said.

Rescuers are combing through mud-covered hillsides and near riverbanks to look for dozens of people still missing after days of heavy rains caused flooding and mudslides in southwestern Japan, where the death toll has risen to 122.

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