At least 134 confirmed dead as Japan combs through mud for missing

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

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

In talks with the prime minister on July 9, Ehime Gov. Tokihiro Nakamura noted that the JMA did not issue an emergency warning for his prefecture, which was hit heavily by the downpours, until the last minute, and said efforts were probably needed to provide a better response. The trip would have taken him to Belgium, France, Saudi Arabia and Egypt from Wednesday.

"I have asked my family to prepare for the worst", 38-year-old Kosuke Kiyohara, who has not heard from his sister and her two sons, told AFP.

"It's not raining today but we must stay alert for the possibility of landslides", she told AFP.

KURASHIKI Unprecedented rains that have killed at least 69 people also stranded 1,850 in the Japanese city of Kurashiki yesterday, with rescuers using helicopters and boats after rivers surged over their banks.

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

But more settled weather is expected over the next few days which is likely to help with rescue efforts.

Rescue workers were going door-to-door, looking for survivors - or victims - of the disaster.

Flooding again hit Hiroshima Prefecture around 10. a.m. on July 10, when dirt and drifting trees blocked the Enokigawa river under a bridge in Fuchu, causing the water to overflow.

Water was still flowing from the surrounding hillsides around the feet of shellshocked residents, some of whom wept as they saw their damaged district.

This photo shows a submerged housing area in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, western Japan. "I hope they find him soon".

To address food and water shortages in disaster-hit areas, Abe said trucks ferrying supplies to convenience stores and other retailers will be treated as emergency vehicles.

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 nation, leaving it prone to disasters. "If the water level drops low enough, they may be able to access hard-hit areas by road or on foot", a spokeswoman at the area's disaster control office said.

Even with the break in rain, officials warned of the possibility of sudden showers, as well as new landslides in the wettest areas.

Seko said the ministry will send portable air conditioners to evacuation centers in Kurashiki and Kumano in Hiroshima, where many residents have been forced to take shelter following damage to their homes, before installing large ones.

Nearly 2 million people were still subject to evacuation orders, while tens of thousands of rescue workers battled mud, water and rubble to search for survivors stranded in their homes.

Flooded rice fields in Mihara.

Many major highways and rail lines are still closed and tens of thousands of homes in Hiroshima are still without electricity or clean water.

"I've lived here for 40 years".