Death toll in Japan floods rises to 200


The Associated Press reported that 10.4 inches of rain accumulated in its Kochi Prefecture in just three hours and that landslide warnings were issued for the entire island.

Japan's government said at least 134 people have been confirmed dead from the heavy rains, floods and mudslides that have struck western Japan.

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

An additional 13 people have since died from cardiac arrests, raising the total death toll to 103, according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.

"We are checking every single house to see if there are people still trapped inside them", said an official with the local Okayama prefecture government, the AFP reported. "I was scared, thinking what would become of me", a 71-year-old man told local reporters.

Japan took stock on Monday (July 9) of the damage from the country's worst flood disaster since 1983, as the death roll rises.

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Akira Tanimoto says his apartment narrowly survived the floods and mudslide at his residential complex over the weekend, and even if he wants to go back there with his wife and two pet birds, he can't because there is no water, power or food available.

Since 2005, districts have been required to create and raise awareness of "hazard maps" for areas at risk of landslides and flooding.

Construction worker Fukuyoshi Doi, who is leading a group of volunteers who had gathered to help clear the road, said once they clear the mud "the rest of the work would pick".

Hundreds of thousands of people were forced to flee their homes, and those unable to leave took shelter on rooftops as the streets filled with water. "We need our water system restored". Te weather agency said daytime temperatures could reach 35 degrees Celsius in the coming week.

Policemen conduct a search operation for missing people in Kumano Town, Hiroshima Prefecture.

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

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"We will assess the needs of victims and push for quick reconstruction", the prime minister said.

The Health Ministry said that as of Tuesday morning, almost 300,000 homes spanning 12 prefectures in western Japan were still without water supply.

Both emergency services, households and evacuees have struggled with telecommunications services as NTT West said that almost 16,000 landlines and internet connections are down affecting an expansive area of western Japan.

Indeed, with the severity of the crisis impacting large swathes of areas in Western Japan and Southwestern Japan becoming understood, then more individuals are now involved in search and rescue.

"I saw the tremendous scars (left by the rain)", Abe said following his visit to Okayama Prefecture on Wednesday during a task force meeting, while revealing that the government has secured about 71,000 dwellings as temporary housing for people affected by the disaster.

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