Hundreds of thousands of people were forced to flee their homes, and those unable to leave took shelter on rooftops as the streets filled with water. Power was cut in over 20,000 households.
Later he told reporters the government would do everything it could to help the survivors.
“We know it’s a race against time, we are trying as hard as we can”. They also advised people wait for disaster professionals before venturing into damaged homes because of the dangers of exposed electric lines and hazardous material.
Flooding along Oda River in Kurashiki, Japan, on July 10.
Suga said 87 people were confirmed dead and 13 others had no vital signs when they were found as of early Monday.
“Compared to earthquakes, there are not enough measures”, he said. Rescue efforts are underway as overflowing water filled with debris and mud is now flooding homes.
Residents cross an area still flooded in Kurashiki, Okayama prefecture on Monday.
In an elementary school gymnasium in the city of Kurashiki, he shook hands and exchanged words with some evacuees. Heavy rainfall hammered southern Japan for the third day, prompting new disaster warnings on Kyushu and Shikoku islands.
Okayama prefecture, south of Hiroshima, said in a statement that five people had died, seven were missing and 11 were injured, at least one of them seriously.
Abe was originally scheduled to embark on a trip to Europe and the Middle East on Wednesday, but canceled his travel plans to deal with the disasters.
Also in Hiroshima Prefecture, residents in the Koge area of Fukuyama city’s Kumanocho district reported water spilling from cracks in a nearby reservoir at 7:50 a.m.
The newspaper says that the number of dead is the highest for a rain-related event in the country since 1982. Meanwhile, automakers have suspended manufacturing in Kyoto and Osaka and Mazda has suspended operations in Hiroshima, citing the delayed delivery of parts and the difficulty in getting people to work.
And with many people stuck in modestly equipped shelters with few possessions, or living in damaged homes with no running water or electricity, the rising temperatures posed a new problem, authorities said.
Both emergency services, households and evacuees have been struggling with telecommunications services as NTT West said that almost 16,000 landlines and Internet connections are down affecting an expansive area of western Japan.
The automaker, which suspended operations at several plants last week, said the halt would continue at two plants until Tuesday because it can not receive components, although both units were undamaged.