Death toll from Japan rains rises to 57

Death toll from Japan rains rises to 57

Death toll from Japan rains rises to 57

Local media are already putting the number of fatalities at around 90.

"Even now we have not been able to confirm the safety of quite a lot of people, and there are many who are stranded, facing the terror of impending inundation and waiting for rescue", prime minister Shinzo Abe said.

An aerial view of flooded houses in Japan's Hiroshima prefecture.

More than 1 million people were forced to flee their homes and another 3 million were advised to evacuate.

Over the past five days, the country was slammed with so much precipitation that rain levels in some areas were two to three times as high as the monthly average for all of July, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

A train remains derailed by a landslide caused by heave rains in Karatsu, Saga prefecture, Japan, on Saturday.

Throughout the hard hit areas, rivers swelled and parked cars sat in pools of water.

"The area became an ocean", said Nobue Kakumoto, 82, a local resident.

"I'm anxious because I have no idea how long it will stay like this".

A nursing home is reportedly flooded in Kurashiki City, although further details are still unknown.

In the town of Saka, also in Hiroshima prefecture, Eiichi Tsuiki evacuated to the top floor of his house as rising waters washed away cars outside.

The 68-year-old farmer had never evacuated his home before, but when a special alert came on the television last Friday night as he watched baseball, he and his wife chose to leave.

Work crews could be seen elsewhere trying to clear multiple small landslides that coated roads in mud, rendering them virtually impassable.

Among the dead were a man who fell from a bridge into a river in western Hiroshima city, and a 77-year-old man in Takashima, 56 km (35 miles) east of the ancient capital of Kyoto, who was swept into a canal as he worked to remove debris, NHK said.

"We are also looking after evacuees and restoring lifeline infrastructure like water and gas", he added.

"We are doing our best".

Public broadcaster NHK said flooding and landslides were hindering rescue efforts and repeatedly urged people not to lose hope.

At least 75 people are dead and 40 have been reported missing or are unaccounted for, according to Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency. Time is running out.

Almost 2 million people have been asked to evacuate the affected areas.

Abe set up a government crisis committee to deal with the disaster yesterday, mobilising 54,000 rescue workers from the Self-Defence Forces, police and fire departments.

Photos have emerged of people trapped on rooftops and others being rescued by boat from buildings submerged by floodwaters.

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