Meteorologist Heather Tesch says the death toll is expected to rise after flooding in Japan.

Meteorologist Heather Tesch says the death toll is expected to rise after flooding in Japan.
Flooding and landslides caused by unprecedented rain in southern Japan have left at least 35 people confirmed or presumed dead.

Standing water and risk of more mudslides delayed rescue operations on Sunday, according to the Japan Times.

The victims include 14 residents of a nursing home that was flooded when a river overflowed its banks. Another 50 residents and 30 caregivers were rescued by boats on Sunday.

More than a dozen people were missing, and more than 2,000 households remained cut off in eight municipalities in Kumamoto prefecture on Japan's southwestern Kyushu island, the Kyodo News agency reported.




The floodwaters cut off roads and washed away buildings. A Kyodo helicopter flew over an area where the words "rice, water, SOS" could be seen spelled out on the ground.

More than 4,650 homes in Kumamoto prefecture remained without power on Sunday afternoon, according to Kyushu Electric Power Co.

Rescuers search for missing people at the site of a mudslide caused by heavy rain in Natsugi town in Kumamoto prefecture, southwestern Japan, on Sunday, July 5, 2020.

Rescuers search for missing people at the site of a mudslide caused by heavy rain in Natsugi town in Kumamoto prefecture, southwestern Japan, on Sunday, July 5, 2020.
Narumi Kawano, 78, who lived with her 75-year-old disabled husband in Kuma, told the Japan Times floodwaters rose up to their necks on the second floor of their home. They dove out a window into the water to escape.

Japan's Meteorological Agency said such rainfall had never been seen before in the region. As much as 4 inches an hour fell at one time.

The heavy rainfall on Friday and Saturday in Kumamoto totaled nearly 20 inches in Minamata and nearly 16 inches in Kuma, Yunomae and Amakusa, according to the Meteorological Agency.

A couple walks in front of houses damaged by flooding in Kuma village, Kumamoto prefecture, southwestern Japan, Sunday, July 5, 2020.
© Koji Harada/Kyodo News
A couple walks in front of houses damaged by flooding in Kuma village, Kumamoto prefecture, southwestern Japan, Sunday, July 5, 2020.
"The torrential rainfall this week was caused by a stationary, but normal frontal boundary known as the Mei-yu (or Baiu) front, which pulls moisture northeastward across eastern Asia, including Japan, from the Indian monsoon," according to weather.com meteorologist Jonathan Belles. "This front occurs each June and July in southern Japan and is known to bring heavy rainfall and mudslides."

More than 200,000 residents in Kumamoto and neighboring Kagoshima prefecture were ordered to evacuate on Saturday.

More torrential rain is forecast in parts of western Japan through Tuesday.