Death toll mounts to 100 as Japan receives record rainfall

Fire fighters helps residents to get off boats in Kurashiki Okayama Prefecture

Japan monitors weather conditions and issues warnings early, but its dense population means every bit of usable land is built on in the mostly mountainous country, leaving it prone to disasters.

That puts many people's homes in the path of potential landslides and flooding. "We are fully committed to life-saving rescue and evacuation", he said.

At least 4 million people have been advised to evacuate surrounding areas.

Some of the victims have been buried alive by landslides, Japan's Kyodo news agency reports.

Delivery companies Sagawa Express Co. and Yamato Transport Co. and cargo service Japan Freight Railway Co. said some of their shipments to and from the flooded areas have been suspended or reduced.

The automaker, which suspended operations at several plants last week, said the halt would continue at two plants until Tuesday because it could not receive components, although both units were undamaged. "The frequency of heavy rain-linked disasters is on the rise, and we are facing the world where the rules learnt from your experiences no longer apply", Ohno said.

People fled to rooftops and balconies in the city of Kurashiki, at the mouth of the Takahashi River, about 670 kilometers (415 miles) from Tokyo.

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They were rescued hours later, and returned to the town on Monday, where Ogawa found his telephone, filled with calls from concerned relatives and friends.

On Sunday, the prime minister, Shinzo Abe, said efforts to locate those still stranded had turned into a "race against time".

Earlier today, the Self-Defense Force ferried seven oil trucks from Hiroshima to Kure, a major industrial city whose 226,000 residents were cut off from the rest of the prefecture due to the disaster.

More than 30,000 people were staying at emergency shelters on Sunday afternoon, while authorities vowed to quickly rehouse displaced people in private accommodation or public housing.

The toll has risen steadily since then, and conditions have made rescue operations hard, with some desperate citizens taking to Twitter to call for help. At the same time, it has been impossible to confirm the security and location of 78 others, " Suga told a news conference. Critical infrastructure has been hit, including railway tracks. An emergency management centre has been set up at the Prime Minister's office to handle the situation and some 54,000 military, police and fire department personnel have been dispatched to the flooded areas.

Rain brought by Typhoon No. 7 since July 3 and a seasonal front that hovered over much of western Japan caused: 50 deaths in Hiroshima Prefecture; 36 in Okayama Prefecture; 25 in Ehime Prefecture; four each in Kyoto and Fukuoka prefectures; three in Yamaguchi Prefecture; two each in Kagoshima and Hyogo prefectures; and one each in Gifu, Shiga, Kochi and Saga prefectures.

Hundreds of people have been injured, and dozens of homes have been completely destroyed in the disastrous downpours; most of the deaths have occurred in Hiroshima subdivision.

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