Japan rains disaster toll rises to 199: government

Severe rainfall leaves dozens dead in Japan

Severe rainfall leaves dozens dead in Japan

Roads were transformed into muddy flowing rivers, with dirt piled up on either side as flood water gushed around the wheels of stranded cars.

Most of the deaths have occurred in Hiroshima prefecture.

The compound of a junior high school is flooded after heavy rains in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, southwestern Japan.

Scores of patients, some still in their pajamas, and nurses were rescued from the isolated Mabi Memorial Hospital in boats rowed by members of Japan's Self Defense Forces.

"I have asked my family to prepare for the worst", said Kosuke Kiyohara, 38, as he waited for word of his sister and her two young sons in the town of Kumano.

The death toll reached at least 114, NHK public television said, with 61 people missing.

After torrential rains led to floods and landslides, in which more than 100 people have been killed, the rescuers in Japan started digging through the rubble to find the survivors.

With much of the affected area lacking fresh water and electricity and with temperatures and humidity soaring, the dangers of dehydration and water-born infections pose new risks.

"We don't know how long it will take for the recovery", said Okayama official Imawaka.

It is not clear how she got there but after rescue workers fed her carrots and cabbages to calm her, she came down from the roof without serious injury, the Japan Times reports.

"I get muddy and sweaty when I clean up my house, but I can not do laundry or even take a bath", said Midori Yamaguchi, 72, in Kurashiki, where a water outage continued.

Japan's government set up an emergency management center at the prime minister's office and some 54,000 rescuers from the military, police and fire departments were dispatched across a wide swath of southwestern and western Japan.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the devastated region and promised that the government would do whatever it could to help residents return to normal life, the Kyodo News agency reported.

Further rain warnings are in effect, with more than 250mm predicted to fall in some areas by Monday.

Officials have evacuated about two million people after rives banks burst.

Rescue workers carried out house-to-house searches Tuesday in the increasingly unlikely hope of finding survivors after days of deadly floods and landslides that have claimed 141 lives in one of Japan's worst weather-related disasters for decades. The front then remained in one place for an unusually long time, the JMA said. Meanwhile, automakers have suspended manufacturing in Kyoto and Osaka and Mazda has suspended operations in Hiroshima, citing the delayed delivery of parts and the difficulty in getting people to work. They were to decide later on Sunday on plans for the coming week.

Some cities within Okayama prefecture saw flooding of almost 30 percent of the total area, while the number of partially or fully destroyed homes nationwide exceeds 10,000.