Search efforts continued in hardest-hit Hiroshima and Okayama prefectures, as well as their neighboring areas despite the elapse of the crucial 72-hour period, after which the odds of finding survivors decreases significantly.
About a dozen of Tanimoto's neighbors were found dead at the apartment complex after floods hit the area.
Remnants of Typhoon Prapiroon fed into a seasonal rainy weather front fueled by warm air from the Pacific Ocean - a pattern similar to one that caused flooding in southwestern Japan exactly a year ago that killed dozens on people.
In the Mabi district of Kurashiki, the water left behind a fine yellow silt that has transformed the area into moonscape.
With much of the affected area lacking fresh water and electricity and with temperatures and humidity soaring, the dangers of dehydration and water-born infections pose new risks. (Kyodo via Reuters) An elderly woman walks next to submerged and destroyed houses in a flooded area in Mabi. "There are still many people whose safety has yet to be confirmed".
'Around 1,000 people were seeking rescue by Sunday morning, but we don't yet have a complete picture of the disaster, which is enormous, ' Mutsunari Imawaka, a spokesman for the prefecture's disaster management office, said.
"I can't go back if I wanted to", the 66-year-old retired Self-Defense serviceman said, holding a bird cage in which the birds chirped.
More than 30 inches of rain over the past week has led to one of Japan's worst flooding disasters on record.
Mr Suga added that the Government has set up a taskforce and was spending 2 billion yen ($24 million) to hasten deliveries of supplies and other support for evacuation centres and residents in the region.
Abe, who cancelled an overseas trip to deal with the disaster, has been criticised after a photograph circulated on Twitter showing him and his defence minister at a party with lawmakers just as the rains intensified.
In Hiroshima, Okayama and Ehime prefectures, the Japan Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT), which comprises doctors, nurses and other staff members dispatched from outside those prefectures, began its activities, visiting evacuation centers to see if there were any evacuees complaining about health problems.
Officials have evacuated about two million people after rives banks burst.
Flooding again hit Hiroshima Prefecture around 10. a.m. on July 10, when dirt and drifting trees blocked the Enokigawa river under a bridge in Fuchu, causing the water to overflow. The government mobilised 75,000 troops and emergency workers and almost 80 helicopters for the search and rescue effort, Suga said.
At an emergency meeting Tuesday in Tokyo, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the federal government would streamline the process for emergency aid.
While persistent rain had ended, officials warned of sudden showers and thunderstorms as well as more landslides on steep mountainsides saturated over the weekend.
The youth soccer team rescued from a cave in Thailand will be unable to accept FIFA's invitation to attend the World Cup final. British divers found them grouped together in complete darkness on a muddy bank several kilometres inside the cave on Monday.
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4 rescued from Thai cave | Front Page
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