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BBC : Japan floods: 126 killed after torrential rain and landslides

BBC : Japan floods: 126 killed after torrential rain and landslides
BBC : Japan floods: 126 killed after torrential rain and landslides

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Image copyright Getty Images Image caption This is the worst death toll triggered by rains Japan has seen since 1982, when nearly 300 people died

At least 126 people are now known to have died in floods and landslides triggered by torrential rain in western Japan, says the government.

It is the highest death toll caused by rainfall that Japan has seen in more than three decades.

Rescuers are now digging through mud and rubble in a race to find survivors, as dozens are still missing.

About two million people have evacuated the region after rivers burst their banks.

"I have asked my family to prepare for the worst," 38-year-old Kosuke Kiyohara, who has not heard from his sister and her two sons, told AFP.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has also cancelled an overseas trip to deal with the flood crisis.

Image copyright AFP Image caption More than 70,000 emergency workers have been deployed across western Japan Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Around 12,000 people are staying in evacuation centres across 15 prefectures Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Cars and houses were left wrecked by heavy rains, leaving areas covered in debris and thick mud Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Thousands of homes are flooded and cut off from water and electricity Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Since last Thursday, parts of western Japan have received three times the usual rainfall for the whole of July Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Though persistent rains have ended, officials have warned of sudden showers, thunderstorms and landslides

Flood warnings are still in effect for some of the worst hit areas, including Okayama prefecture.

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

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