Death toll mounts to 100 as Japan receives record rainfall

The nation's Meteorological Agency issued a special weather warning

A vehicle is submerged at a flooded area in Mabi town in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture.

Over 70,000 emergency workers have been deployed to dig through flood waters and the aftermath of landslides that have transformed the landscape in parts of central and western Japan.

With emergency rain warnings lifted, the country is now turning its focus to search and rescue efforts.

Almost 2 million people have been asked to evacuate the affected areas.

Authorities warned that landslides could strike even after rain subsides as the calamity shaped up to be potentially the worst in decades.

According to the transport ministry, 13 railroad operators were suspending services on 37 routes in western Japan or elsewhere as of Monday morning.

Several major manufacturers, including carmakers Daihatsu and Mitsubishi, suspended operations at plants in the affected areas.

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The rain began late last week as the remnants of a typhoon fed into a seasonal rainy front‚ with humid‚ warm air from the Pacific making it still more active - a pattern similar to one that set off flooding in south-western Japan exactly a year ago that killed dozens. Six people are in critical condition, and dozens are still missing, the public broadcaster NHK reported on Sunday.

"The frequency of heavy rain-linked disasters is on the rise, and we are facing the world where the rules learnt from your experiences no longer apply", Ohno said. The rain set off landslides and flooded rivers, trapping many people in their homes or on rooftops.

They were rescued hours later, and returned to the town on Monday, where Ogawa found his telephone, filled with calls from concerned relatives and friends. HuffPost reports that evacuation orders or advisories were issued for 4.72 million people.

Refineries and oil terminals were not affected but blockages in roads leading to one Showa Shell oil terminal in Hiroshima caused gas and diesel shortages nearby. "This is a situation of extreme danger". He explained, "Rescues, saving lives and evacuations are a race against time". His wife, who stayed behind and let her husband flee, was among more than 20 people who were found dead in the city, where a river dike collapsed. "Some people have been isolated, calling for rescue".

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said 54,000 police officers, firefighters, and members of Japan's Self-Defense Forces and coast guard had been mobilized in the rescue effort, Kyodo reported, with TV footage showing them using boats and helicopters to bring people to safety.

The toll has risen steadily since then, and conditions have made rescue operations hard, with some desperate citizens taking to Twitter to call for help.

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