Death toll from heavy rain in Japan reaches 176

Floods and landslides triggered by heavy downpours in western Japan have claimed the lives of at least 176 people as of Wednesday, local media reported citing Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. Nearly 70 reportedly died in the hardest-hit Hiroshima area alone. Authorities say that scores are still missing and hundreds of thousands are affected by the disaster. Earlier, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe canceled a planned trip to Europe and the Middle East and visited an evacuation center in Kurashiki to oversee the government’s disaster response.