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Highest death toll in Japan due to rainfall

Sheetal Sukhija - Wednesday 11th July, 2018

TOKYO, Japan - Following historic levels of rainfall, that caused devastating floods and landslides in Japan, the death toll rose beyond 150 on Tuesday.

Authorities declared that the toll of 155 was the worst death toll witnessed ever floods witnessed in the country in 35 years.

On Tuesday morning, Japanese government officials said that at least 155 people had died in floods and landslides triggered by torrential rain in western Japan.

Meanwhile, rescuers reportedly continued to dig are now digging through mud and rubble in a race to find survivors, as dozens are still missing.

In days before the devastating rains, officials said that they had managed to evacuate two million people. 

Now, the region which they were evacuated, rivers have burst their banks.

In some parts of the country, authorities opened up school halls and gymnasiums to those who have been displaced by the rainfall.

There remains a risk of landslides, with rain-sodden hilltops liable to collapse.

Following the widespread destruction caused by the floods, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cancelled an overseas trip to deal with the flood crisis. 

More than 70,000 rescue workers, including the fire service and the army, are involved in the relief effort.

An Okayama prefecture official said, “We are checking every single house to see if there are people still trapped inside them. We know it's a race against time, we are trying as hard as we can.”

While flood warnings are still in effect for some of the worst hit areas, including the Okayama prefecture in the southern part of Japan.

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

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