INTERNATIONAL

Japanese PM Visits Flood Disaster Zone

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited flood-stricken parts of Japan today as the death toll from the worst weather disaster in 36 years reached 176 and health concerns rose amid scorching heat and the threat of new floods.

Torrential rain caused floods and triggered landslides in western Japan last week, bringing death and destruction to neighborhoods built decades ago near steep mountain slopes. At least 176 people were killed, the government said, with dozens missing in Japan's worst weather disaster since 1982.

With temperatures of 33 degrees celsius or higher in the devastated areas in Okayama and Hiroshima prefectures, attention turned to preventing heat-stroke among rescue workers and in evacuation centres where thousands of people have sought shelter.