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>> The death toll in western Japan has climbed to over 150, as the country struggles to restore utilities after its worst weather disaster in 36 years. While rescuers are still continuing their grim search for victims, survivors face health risks from temperatures pushing above 30 degrees celsius, coupled with a lack of water.
The region was slammed by torrential rain last week, unleashing floods and landslides. About 67 people are still missing. At one point, several million people were forced from their homes. While power has been restored to all but a handful of households, more than 200,000 people are without water under scorching sun in some of the hardest hit areas.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe canceled an overseas trip to handle the disaster.
The government has set aside about $630 million US in infrastructure funds, with a $3.15 billion reserve. Japan issues weather warnings early, but some residents are believed to have shrugged them off, with some saying they thought it was going to be like the past when nothing happened.
Japan's high population density means that almost every bit of usable land, including some floodplains, is built on in the mountainous country, leaving it prone to disasters. Last week's rain brought death and destruction to neighborhoods built years ago near steep slopes, with a number of those killed caught in landslides.