Hiroshima, Residents shoveled mud and

debris to clear streets, so they could get out for food and other

supplies today in areas of western Japan hard hit by landslides and

flooding that still swamped some areas.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited an evacuation center in the city

of Kurashiki in Okayama prefecture, where more than 40 of the 176

victims died. He ducked in front of an elderly woman sitting on the

floor, and pledged to her that his government will do its utmost to bring

back her ordinary life as soon as possible. About 200 residents were

taking refuge at the shelter he visited.

Tens of thousands of rescue and recovery workers and

volunteers were searching for people still missing.

In areas where search-and-rescue operations had ended,

construction workers and residents worked in neighborhoods to clear

mud and debris and restore vehicle access to the outside and get

supplies and food.

The government said 176 people have been confirmed dead

after the record-setting rainfall last week caused severe flooding and

landslides. Most of the deaths were in Hiroshima and the surrounding

area, but the damage was widespread.

The government has mobilized 75,000 troops and emergency

workers and some 80 helicopters for the search and rescue effort.

Thousands of homes were still without clean water and electricity.

Residents lined up for water under a scorching sun as temperatures

rose to 35 Celsius (95 Fahrenheit), raising the risk of heat stroke.

Abe canceled a planned trip to Europe and the Middle East this

week to oversee the emergency response, the Associated Press (AP)

news reported.

Source: Oman News Agency