Rescuers are still searching through the debris after massive landslides slammed into a residential area on the outskirts of Japan’s western city of Hiroshima.
At least 39 people including several children have been killed – more are still missing.
The equivalent of a months rain fell in the 24 hours up to Wednesday morning loosening mountain slopes already saturated by heavy rain over the past few weeks.
Residents spoke of water rushing through their homes and mud burying houses.
Hiroshima authorities only issued an evacuation notice one hour after the first landslide. They admitted underestimating the amount of rainfall.
Much of central and southern Japan is mountainous with many homes built on precariously steep slopes.
Officials have warned of more rain to come.