Over 100,000 rescuers dig through mud to find bodies buried by Typhoon Hagibis

More than 110,000 rescuers have joined the mission to find those still missing after a major typhoon battered Japan, leaving at least 36 people dead.

Crews are digging through mudslides to find bodies after Typhoon Hagibis unleashed torrents of rain and strong winds, destroying everything in its path.

Thousands of homes on Japan’s main island are flooded, damaged or without power.

Authorities warned more mudslides were possible with rain forecast for the affected area throughout the day today.

Overnight the death toll rose to 36 with 16 people missing, the Kyodo News service reports.

The official count from the Fire and Disaster Management Agency was 19 dead and 13 missing.

Hagibis dropped record amounts of rain for a period in some spots, according to meteorological officials, causing more than 20 rivers to overflow.

In Kanagawa Prefecture, southwest of Tokyo, 100 centimetres of rainfall was recorded over the last 48 hours.

Some of the muddy waters in streets, fields and residential areas have subsided but many places remain flooded, with homes and surrounding roads covered in mud and littered with broken wood and debris. Some places normally dry still looked like rivers.

Some who lined up for morning soup at evacuation shelters, which are housing 30,000 people, expressed concern about the homes they had left behind.

Soldiers and firefighters from across Japan have been deployed to search for survivors with helicopters plucking some of the stranded from higher floors and rooftops of submerged homes.

A woman in her 70s died after she was dropped by a rescue helicopter in Iwaki city, Fukushima, about 120 miles north east of Tokyo, this weekend.

She fell 40 metres to the ground while being airlifted to the helicopter. She was taken to hospital but later died from her injuries.

Other fatalities include people swept away by raging rivers.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government will set up a special disaster team, including officials from various ministries, to deal with the fallout from the typhoon, including helping those in evacuation centres and boosting efforts to restore water and electricity to homes.

Mr Abe said: ‘Our response must be rapid and appropriate.’

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