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Official death toll from record Japan rains rises to 75

  • Aerial view of flooded houses in Kurashiki, Okayama prefecture. Photo courtesy: AFP

Tokyo (AFP) -- The death toll in record rains that have devastated parts of Japan rose to 75 on Monday, according to an official tally, as rescue operations continued.

Dozens of people remain missing after the days of torrential rains that have caused flash floods and landslides.

Rescue workers and troops have been struggling in the mud and water to save lives.

Local media are already putting the number of fatalities at around 90.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday warned of a "race against time" to rescue flood victims, some of whom have resorted to tweeting desperate messages seeking help from emergency services.

In villages across central and western Japan, trapped residents have been forced to take shelter on their rooftops as floods swirl below.

Over 50,000 rescue workers, police and military personnel have been mobilised to respond to the disaster, which has left entire villages submerged by flooding and left just the top of traffic lights visible above the rising waters.

The toll has risen steadily in recent days, with the conditions forcing rescue workers to rely on boats and helicopters to extract trapped civilians.

The death toll has already exceeded the recent most deadliest rain-related disaster in 2014, when at least 74 people were killed in landslides caused by torrential downpours in the Hiroshima region.

 

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