By Adem Salvarcioglu
The death toll from floods in western Japan has topped 220, according to local media on Tuesday.
Japan Times, a Tokyo-based daily, cited the country’s national disaster agency saying that the death toll from the torrential rains and landslides dominating the entire region hit 222.
Around 700 landslides have occurred in the country’s 31 prefectures over the last two weeks of heavy rains.
Japanese authorities believe the death toll will rise further, as around 30 people are still missing.
Search and rescue operations with more than 70,000 rescuers continue in the flood-affected areas -- including the Hiroshima, Okayama, and Ehime prefectures.
According to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, around 6,700 people remained in shelters.
Up to 5.9 million people were ordered to leave their homes in 19 prefectures due to landslides and flooding.
The most casualties were reported in the Hiroshima, Ehime, Okayama, Yamaguchi, Kyoto, Gifu, Shiga, Hyogo, Kochi and Fukuoka prefectures.
On July 9, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe canceled a planned trip to Europe and the Middle East due to the disaster.