Parts of western Japan hit by deadly floods and landslides are facing unprecedented danger as more downpours are expected, officials warn.
Rescuers in Japan dug through mud and rubble on Monday, racing to find survivors after torrential rains unleashed widespread floods and landslides that killed nearly 100, with dozens missing.
Rain tapered off across the western region battered by last week’s downpour, revealing blue skies and scorching sun forecast to push temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius (86°F), fueling fears of heatstroke in areas cut off from power or water.
About 12,700 customers had no electricity on Monday, power companies said. Tens of thousands had no water, Japanese media said. The death toll from the rains reached at least 94 after floodwaters forced several million people from their homes, NHK national television said, the highest toll since 98 people were killed in a typhoon in 2004.
An emergency management center has been set up at the prime minister’s office, with about 54,000 rescuers, drawn from the military, police and fire departments, fanning out across the west and southwest. 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.