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Death toll from torrential rains reaches 202, whereabouts of 40 others unknown

Volunteers clean up a flooded house in the Mabicho district of Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, on July 14, 2018. (Mainichi)

The death toll from torrential rains that hit western Japan reached 202 in 14 prefectures as of 11 a.m. on July 14, according to tallies by the Mainichi Shimbun, while the whereabouts of 40 others in four prefectures remains unknown.

Over one week has passed since the outbreak of the disaster, but the casualties have kept rising. Many people in disaster-hit areas have been transported to hospital by ambulance after developing suspected heatstroke symptoms.

Since temperatures in many affected areas are forecast to surpass 35 degrees Celsius on July 15 and 16, the latter of which is a public holiday, the Japan Meteorological Agency is warning of heatstroke.

On July 14, three people were confirmed dead in areas including the Okayama Prefecture city of Ibara and Higashi Ward in the city of Hiroshima, bringing the death toll to 202.

The temperature topped 30 degrees in extensive areas hit by the disaster on the morning of July 14. As of noon, the temperature stood at 35.9 degrees in Ozu, Ehime Prefecture, 34.8 degrees in the city of Okayama and 33.2 degrees in the city of Hiroshima.

(Japanese original by Takashi Yamashita, Osaka City News Department, and Sayaka Kamohara, Izumisano Resident Bureau)

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