Death toll continues to climb after week of heavy rain that has washed away houses
Dozens of people have died and at least 50 are missing after torrential rain triggered landslides and flash flooding in western Japan on Saturday.
Local authorities said 20 people had been killed, while public broadcaster NHK said the death toll had risen to 46.
The number of casualties is expected to rise, said Yoshinobu Katsuura, a disaster management official in Ehime prefecture.
The prime minister, Shinz Abe, said the situation was extremely serious and ordered ministers to make an all-out effort to rescue victims.
The rainfall has hampered rescue operations in Hiroshima, Ehime, Okayama, Kyoto and other regions.
Water levels reached five metres( 16 ft) in the worst-hit areas, forcing some residents on to rooftops and balconies to attract the attention of rescue helicopters.
Read more: https :// www.theguardian.com/ world/ 2018/ jul/ 07/ heavy-rain-floods-and-landslide-leave-more-than-a-dozen-dead-and-5 0-missing-in-japan