Transportation services have been severely disrupted since Thursday, with Shinkansen bullet train services partially suspended in most parts of western Japan and major arterial highways partially closed.
Some 73,000 troops of the Japan Self-Defence Forces, police and firefighters are still working on search and rescue operations, said government spokesperson Yoshihide Suga.
"I had never seen anything like this", he said on TBS television, standing outside his restaurant in Hiroshima city while wearing a helmet.
As of Monday morning, they said that 23,000 people were still staying at emergency evacuation shelters, with blazing heat now compounding the problem.
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According to Japanese broadcaster NHK, authorities say that the death toll has risen to 85, and six people remain in critical condition.
The torrential downpours have caused flash flooding and landslides across central and western Japan, prompting evacuation orders for more than two million people. The hardest-hit area is Hiroshima Prefecture where at least 44 people were reported dead. Rivers overflowed, turning towns into lakes, leaving dozens of people stranded on rooftops.
Local government officials said pumping trucks were being deployed to help restore access to some of the worst-hit areas in the area, and with the rains stopped, water was starting to recede. "This is a situation of extreme danger". "We had fled to the second floor but then the water rose more, so we went up to the third floor". All rain warnings have been lifted.
Evacuation orders have been scaled back from the weekend, but almost 2 million people are still ordered to stay away from their homes.
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In the town of Uwajima in Ehime Prefecture, a 63-year-old man was buried alive in his house due to landslides.
"Unusual weather patterns are a factor that corporations have to consider when making economic projections, but there is not much one can do", said Koya Miyamae, a senior economist at SMBC Nikko Securities.
Companies including Mazda Motor Corp., Daihatsu Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. kept work halted at factories as power and water supply in wide parts of Hiroshima and Okayama have been cut off.
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