Japan rains disaster toll rises to 199: government

Severe rainfall leaves dozens dead in Japan

Akira Tanimoto says his apartment narrowly survived the floods and mudslide at his residential complex over the weekend, and even if he wants to go back there with his wife and two pet birds, he can't because there is no water, power or food available.

Rescue workers struggled on Wednesday to search for dozens of people who are still missing after muddy floodwaters surged through the streets in the country's southwest. In Kita Kyushu city, a 68-year-old man was killed in a landslide. "Electricity is out, water is cut off and there is no information there".

Buildings are nearly submerged in floodwaters caused by heavy rains in Kurashiki, Okayama prefecture, southwestern Japan, on Saturday.

Search-and-rescue operations are continuing after floods and landslides caused by the rains, and local media said several dozen people were still missing in Japan's deadliest weather-related disaster in over three decades.

It's also one of the deadliest natural disasters to hit the island nation since an quake struck off the coast of Tohoku in 2011, triggering a massive tsunami that crippled the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

Most of the deaths were in Hiroshima and the surrounding area, but the damage was widespread. Supplies such as water, blankets and cellphone chargers were provided.

Construction worker Fukuyoshi Doi volunteering to get that done, and supervised other volunteers who gathered to help.

Water and other relief supplies were scarce in some of the other disaster-hit areas.

A three-year-old whose home was hit by a landslide in Hiroshima has also died, according to a Reuters report.

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Some residents of Mabi had shrugged off the warnings given the area's history of floods.

Supermarkets have closed stores or shortened hours due to delivery delays and supply shortages.

Almost 13,000 customers had no electricity, power companies said on Monday, while hundreds of thousands had no water.

And authorities warned against the ongoing risk of landslides, with rain forecast in some areas on Thursday, as well as heatstroke in other places where temperatures approached 35 degrees celsius. "We need our water system restored".

Torrential rain in western Japan caused the country's worst weather disaster in 36 years, killing 200 people, many in communities that have existed for decades on mountain slopes and flood plains largely untroubled by storms. More than 8 million people have been ordered to evacuate their homes.

The Okayama Prefecture city of Kurashiki was also hit hard during the latest torrential rains with the Oda River in the city breaking its banks, resulting in record flooding. (AAP) A truck dangles precariously from an incline in Kumano Town, Hiroshima Prefecture.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a disaster response meeting Thursday recalled seeing "horrendous" damage during his visit the previous day to Kurashiki city, where a river broke through its embankment and flooded a wide area.

More than 50,000 members of the self-defence force, police officers, firefighters and coastguard personnel, aided by helicopters and paddle boats, were trying to rescue people from buildings, some of them stranded on rooftops just metres above the waterline.

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