Japan hunts for survivors of floods that killed nearly 100

A landslide blocks National Route No. 156 in Gujo Gifu Prefecture

A landslide blocks National Route No. 156 in Gujo Gifu Prefecture

With the death toll already at 119 as of Monday, July 9, torrential rains brought about by seasonal storm fronts are expected to bring further damage to Western Japan, according to official reports in Japan.

"We have agreed to open up embassies in our respective countries, allow our people to visit each other's cities and allow our airlines and ports to operate freely", said Abiy.

Up to 6.3 million people were ordered to leave their homes in 19 prefectures.

"We've never experienced this kind of rain before", an official at the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) told a news conference.

Rescuers restarted their search through the mud for any survivors or the bodies of those killed on Monday morning. "The rescue teams are doing their utmost", he said.

"I went to my father's family home but it was hopeless", one man said.

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, with just the top of traffic lights visible above the rising waters.

The Nuevo Leon state prosecutor's office reported in a statement that 12 people died in six bar attacks overnight in the municipalities of Monterrey, Guadalupe and Juarez.

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that authorities are in a "race against time" to save and evacuate people.

Search and rescue operations have been continuing in disaster-hit areas, like Hiroshima Prefecture where 44 people have been pronounced dead.

21 were killed in the Ehime prefecture.

The rains are the worst weather-related disaster in Japan since two typhoons in August and September 2011 killed almost 100 people.

The goal is to prevent burglaries of houses and shops, especially in Okayama and Hiroshima prefectures. Izumi Co., which operates shopping centers mainly in western Japan, fell as much as 3.7 percent. But the Shinkansen bullet trains were still operating Sunday.

Manufacturing was also hit hard by the heavy downpour and flooding, as major carmakers such as Mazda Motor Corp and Mitsubishi Motors Corp and manufacturer such as Panasonic Corp suspending operations at some plants in western Japan.

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 nation, leaving it prone to disasters.

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