New satellite images show Japanese homes washed away in floods as death toll hits 179

New satellite images have shone a light on the devastation wrought by torrential rain and flooding in western Japan.

Pictures from southern Enshoji showed homes and roads swept away by landslides triggered by heavy rainfall

Heavy downpours on the back of Typhoon Prapiroon brought as mush as 4ins of rain per hour to some areas, while the town of Motoyama in western Japan reported over 23ins of rain from Friday morning to Saturday morning.

At least 179 have died so far and 80 are still missing in the worst affected areas. Local media say 10,000 people are in emergency shelters.

Warm weather and severed water supplies are causing further concern for survivors. Ichiro Tanabe, who lives in the port city of Kure told Mainichi newspaper: “No water, food, nothing gets here"

“We are going to be all dried up if we continue to be isolated.”

The destruction caused by the floods resulted in over 16,000 landlines and internet connections going down.

"Electricity is out, water is cut off and there is no information there,"  Akira Tanimoto, a 66-year-old retired Self-defense serviceman, told ABC News.

Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister cancelled foreign visits following the flooding. He told reporters that the government will “cut through all the bureaucracy to secure the goods people need for their lives, to improve life in the evacuation centres”.

Continuing he stated they would secure the temporary housing among “other things people need to rebuild their lives.”

Seismically unstable, Japan is prone to natural disasters such as Earthquakes and Tsunamis. Considerable safety measures are taken to prepare against them, but commentators have suggested the country is less prepared for wide-scale flooding.

Takashi Okuma, an emeritus professor at Niigata University who studies disasters, said: "The government is just starting to realise that it needs to take steps to mitigate the impact of global warming."

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