Japan rescuers search house to house as flood toll hits 141

At least 80 killed dozens still missing after freak rain devours western Japan

Japan struggled on Tuesday to restore utilities after its worst weather disaster in 36 years killed at least 155 people, with survivors facing health risks from broiling temperatures and a lack of water, while rescuers kept up a grim search for victims.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits a shelter for people affected by the recent flooding in Mabi, Okayama prefecture on Wednesday.

Abe canceled a trip to Belgium, France, Saudi Arabia and Egypt to focus on disaster relief efforts.

The assessment of casualties has been hard because of the widespread area affected by the rainfall, flooding and landslides.

"We can not take baths, the toilet doesn't work, and our food stockpile is running low", 23-year old nursery school worker Yumeko Matsui tells NBC.

Thousands of people remain in shelters, and local authorities in some areas were offering drinking water and bathing services for those without their own supply.

Water and electricity supply was also disrupted across large areas, as some 276,000 households suffered outages across 11 prefectures.

Rescue workers search for missing people at a mudslide site following days of heavy rain in Kumano town, Hiroshima prefecture, southwestern Japan.

When an 88-year-old woman expressed concern about what those displaced by the disaster were going to do, Abe mentioned a plan to build temporary housing for them.

"I'm afraid elderly people who were living alone may have failed to escape", said Yamanaka, 53.

Though the persistent rain had ended, officials warned of sudden showers and thunderstorms as well as of more landslides on steep mountainsides saturated over the weekend.

Industry operations have also been hit, with Mazda Motor Corp saying it was forced to close its head office in Hiroshima yesterday.

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Kyodo reported that the operations at the hospital were successfully concluded on Monday, but that while the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism had mobilized pumping trucks to drain the area, it was likely to take about two weeks to complete it.

Policemen check a damaged vehicle following heavy rains and flooding in Hiroshima.

The most extreme rainfall and flooding concentrated in southwestern Japan in the Okayama prefecture and around Hiroshima.

Officials in Ehime prefecture asked the government to review its weather warning system, noting that rain warnings were issued after damage and casualties already had occurred.

"Otherwise, the impact will be limited".

Flash floods soon followed, along with landslides that swept away cars, buildings, and people. Others had been tossed upside down.

"Nobody's heard from my next door neighbor", one man told NHK.

Some municipalities in Okayama, including Kurashiki and Takahashi, are still finding it hard to supply drinkable water as purification plants have been submerged by the flooding.

Raging floods in Japan have killed over 100 people and sparked mass-evacuation orders for several million residents of the island nation.

Economists said it was too early to assess the overall impact but it was likely to be limited.

More than 30 inches of rain over the past week has led to one of Japan's worst flooding disasters on record.

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