By Satuk Bugra Kutlugun
ANKARA (AA) – The death toll in western Japan after flooding, torrential rain and landslides has reached 126, the Kyodo News Agency reported.
About 270,000 homes are currently without running water in 12 prefectures as of Monday evening, as roads were also damaged and flooded in many areas and railway services disrupted, the agency said.
Most of the deaths occurred in the Hiroshima prefecture, where hundreds of homes were damaged.
Other casualties were reported in the Ehime, Okayama, Yamaguchi, Kyoto, Gifu, Shiga, Hyogo, Kochi and Fukuoka prefectures.
Search and rescue operations have intensified in disaster-hit areas, where 73,000 rescuers have been dispatched, said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Japan Meteorological Agency warned locals of more landslides and flooding. Up to 6.3 million people were ordered to leave their homes in 19 prefectures.
Authorities believe the death toll will rise further as many people are believed to be stranded in their homes due to a lack of access to roads.
In seven prefectures, about 5,100 homes faced blackouts Monday evening, according to the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry.
"Damaged roads have kept workers from entering affected regions, delaying power recovery in some places," the agency reported.