Death toll rises to 155 in Japan flooding, mudslides

Japan floods Death toll rises as PM warns of'race against time

The government put the number of victims at 48 with 28 others presumed dead

A resident is rescued in a flooded area in Kurashiki, Okayama prefecture, following heavy rain.

Authorities said that 85 people are dead, 6 are in critical condition and at least 58 are missing, according to Japanese broadcaster NHK.

Rain brought by Typhoon No. 7 since July 3 and a seasonal front that hovered over much of western Japan caused: 50 deaths in Hiroshima Prefecture; 36 in Okayama Prefecture; 25 in Ehime Prefecture; four each in Kyoto and Fukuoka prefectures; three in Yamaguchi Prefecture; two each in Kagoshima and Hyogo prefectures; and one each in Gifu, Shiga, Kochi and Saga prefectures.

In villages across central and western Japan, trapped residents have been forced to take shelter on their rooftops as floods swirl below.

The meteorological agency downgraded its alerts for affected areas, but authorities warned that the risk of fresh landslides caused by rain-loosened earth remained high.

Monday, temperatures reached up to 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) while some 12,700 customers are without power and tens of thousands more are without water. Flash floods soon followed, along with landslides that swept away cars, buildings, and people.

The city of Kurashiki and the Hiroshima prefecture are among the affected areas.

A helicopter flies over a flooded housing area in Kurashiki, Japan.

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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.

"If the water level drops low enough, they may be able to access hard-hit areas by road or on foot".

"We urge residents to remain cautious about possible landslides", a weather agency official told AFP.

Although evacuation orders were scaled back from the weekend, almost 2 million people still face orders or advice to keep away from homes, fire and disaster officials said.

There was one brighter piece of news when it emerged that a miniature horse had survived three days stranded on a roof before being rescued by aid workers when flood waters receded. "It's a race against time", Abe told ministers on Sunday morning.

Several dozen Mihara residents ventured down from shelters on Sunday to inspect the damage to their homes in the Hongo district of the city, where many locals are rice farmers.

"I got married here, and we built this house two years afterwards".

It's the worst weather-related disaster in the country since 2011, when almost 100 people were killed by two typhoons in August and September. 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.

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