At least 76 killed in Japan floods

62 Dead Dozens Missing After'Unprecedented Rain In Japan

62 Dead Dozens Missing After'Unprecedented Rain In Japan

Residents try to upright a vehicle stuck in a flood hit area in Kurashiki, Okayama prefecture. They became trapped when a nearby river burst its banks and flooded the area.

Flooding and landslides have killed at least 76 people and left dozens missing.

It's typhoon season in Japan, but this rainfall has been especially heavy - with as much as 10 centimetres falling every hour at its peak.

About 51,000 homes were cut off from electricity in six prefectures and some 269,672 homes suffered water outages in 12 prefectures in western Japan as of Monday evening, the government said.

"I can't go back if I wanted to", the 66-year-old retired Self-Defence serviceman said, holding a bird cage, in which the birds chirped as he spoke.

In the city of Kurashiki, the flooding engulfed entire districts at one point, forcing some people to their rooftops to wait for rescue.

More than two million people have been ordered to evacuate their homes.

"We've never experienced this kind of rain before", a weather official said.

Search-and-rescue work continues on July 9 in wide areas of western Japan, including Hiroshima and Ehime prefectures, while workers fix railway tracks in Saga Prefecture.

Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Katsunobu Kato said at a press conference after a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday that the government would start dispatching the Disaster Health Emergency Assistance Team (DHEAT) from Thursday at the request of the Okayama prefectural government to support hygiene control at evacuation centers.

Abe, who cancelled an overseas trip to deal with the disaster, was criticized after a photograph posted on Twitter showed Abe and his defense minister at a party with lawmakers just as the rains intensified. "Bottled water and bottled tea are all gone from convenience stores and other shops". Some 30,000 people remained in shelters on Sunday, while the evacuation orders and advisories were issued for almost 6 million people, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.

The rains have damaged key infrastructure such as highways and railways in the affected regions. At a major supermarket in town, employees sold bottled water and tea, cups of noodles and other preserved foods that survived the floods, while employees cleaned damaged merchandise, throwing items into dozens of plastic bags.

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

The government said it would tap around $20 million in reserve funds to provide aid to those affected by the disaster.

The intensifying heat was also contributing to unsettled weather conditions likely to lead to thunderstorms later on Wednesday, with authorities warning new landslides could easily be set off on mountainsides saturated with water.

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