Survivors and search crews in southwestern Japan are now facing another obstacle in the struggle to recover from last week’s devastating landslides: extreme heat.
Authorities are increasingly worried about heat-related illnesses with temperatures rising as high as 35 degrees Celsius, a situation aggravated by damaged infrastructure that has cut off water and electricity to hundreds of thousands of residents.
At least 155 people have now been confirmed dead as a result of the disaster, which happened after three days of torrential rains across the region. More than 70,000 troops and emergency workers are taking part in the effort to find more survivors.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshide Suga told reporters Tuesday the government was spending up to $20 million to provide relief for the region.
The disaster has forced Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to cancel plans to travel to Belgium, France, Saudi Arabia and Egypt later this week.