On Monday, rescuers in western Japan dug through mud and wreckage, racing to find survivors after torrential rains unleashed floods and landslides that killed nearly 100, with dozens missing.
The rain abated across the region battered by last week’s downpour, unveiling blue skies and scorching sun forecast to push temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius, fuelling fears of heatstroke in areas cut off from power or water.
“We cannot take baths, the toilet doesn’t work and our food stockpile is running low,” said Yumeko Matsui, whose home in the city of Mihara has been without water since Saturday.
“Bottled water and bottled tea are all gone from convenience stores and other shops,” the 23-year-old nursery school worker said at an emergency water supply station.
NHK national television said that the death toll reached at least 97 after floodwaters forced several million from their homes, the highest such figure since 98 people were killed in a typhoon in 2004. Among the dead was a nine-year-old boy.
“He always used to come to our house to play games and things,” a teenaged neighbour told NHK. “It’s very sad.”
Another 56 were missing, NHK added.
“If the rainfall affects supply chains, there will be selling of the affected stocks,” said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities. “Otherwise, the impact will be limited.”