Japan floods: At least 100 dead in record rainfall

Flooding and landslides have killed at least 50 people and left dozens missing in western areas of Japan

There have been no reported South African casualties among the at least 48 people who have been killed by flash floods and landslides in Japan following torrential downpours which started on Thursday.

Japan is struggling to restore utilities and bring relief to the victims of its worst floods in 36 years, as the death toll rises to 134 with dozens still missing.

Self-Defense Force officials and policemen conduct a search operation for missing people in Kumano Town.

With the toll mounting, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cancelled a four-country foreign trip, and he was expected to visit the disaster-hit region later this week.

Abe has seen his support rates rebound after slumping over a suspected cronyism scandal and is keen to prevent any declines ahead of a ruling-party leadership race in September.

Officials and reports say more than 80 people are still unaccounted for, many of them in the hardest-hit Hiroshima area.

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Naoaki Ogawa, 68, was still at home with his wife, daughter and grandson on Friday night, when they saw a wave of mud carrying trees and cars with it tumble down the hill above and engulf the neighbouring house.

Stunned survivors recounted narrow escapes.

"I had never seen anything like this", he said on TBS television, standing outside his restaurant in Hiroshima city while wearing a helmet.

"As far as we know, 134 people have died. We did not realize it was becoming such a big deal".

The Government has set aside 70 billion yen ($845 million) in infrastructure funds to respond to disasters, with 350 billion yen ($4.22 billion) in reserve, Mr Aso said, adding that an extra budget would be considered if needed.

A helicopter flies over Mabi town which was flooded by the heavy rain in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo July 9, 2018.

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The Japan Meteorological Agency had lifted all special rain warnings issued in 11 prefectures by Sunday, and is calling for caution regarding sediment-related disasters in the coming days.

Operations to discharge water are underway at an submerged housing area in Kurashiki, Okayama prefecture in Japan. Two million people have been ordered to evacuate as rivers burst their banks.

"We had fled to the second floor but then the water rose more, so we went to the third". "Finding a place to live in, even if it's temporary, is our top priority".

Thousands of homes were without clean water and electricity in Hiroshima and other hard-hit areas, where many people lined up for water tanks under the scorching sun, with temperature rising as high as 34C. Over 50,000 rescuers have been deployed to the area, where hundreds of people remain stranded.

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.

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