Flooding in Japan has killed more than 100

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

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

Flooding and landslides have killed at least 50 people and left dozens missing in western areas of Japan.

Kurashiki city in Okayama prefecture, where the Mabi district was especially hard hit by this week's floods, distributed a hazard map in 2016, the Yomiuri newspaper said. The trip would have taken him to Belgium, France, Saudi Arabia and Egypt from Wednesday.

Southwestern Japan is in a state of emergency after heavy flash rains battered the region last week, flooding rivers and triggering severe landslides.

"We can not take baths, the toilet doesn't work and our food stockpile is running low", the 23-year-old school worker said. "Bottled water and bottled tea are all gone from convenience stores and other shops".

"We can not take baths, the toilet doesn't work and our food stockpile is running low", said Yumeko Matsui, whose home in the city of Mihara, in Hiroshima prefecture, has been without water since Saturday.

Among the missing was a nine-year-old boy believed trapped in his house by a landslide.

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"He always used to come to our house to play games and things", a teenaged neighbor told NHK.

In Okayama prefecture, rescue workers flew in helicopters over areas that are still under flood water and otherwise unreachable, looking for signs of life.

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

Search work also continues in Hiroshima Prefecture, which was hit by a series of landslides.

Several major manufacturers, including carmakers Daihatsu and Mitsubishi, suspended operations at plants in the affected areas.

Shares in some firms fell but losses were modest, with Mazda even gaining as investors bet damage was limited.

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People soldiered on with the grim recovery task.

At one landslide in Hiroshima, shattered piles of lumber marked the sites of former homes, television images showed. Other homes had been tossed upside down.

Over 10,000 people were still in shelters across large parts of central and western Japan, local media said, including at a school in the town of Kurashiki in Okayama prefecture.

"Reluctance to issue evacuation orders can result in delays. and if they are issued at odd hours, no one will hear about them", Hirose said.

In the town of Mihara, roads were transformed into muddy flowing rivers, with dirt piled up on either side as flood water gushed around the wheels of stranded cars.

According to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, as of Sunday afternoon of July 8, thousands of people had been evacuated to designated evacuation centers in 15 prefectures.

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