The death toll climbed to 66 and several still reported missing on Friday after torrential rains and heavy floods hit parts of Japan.

The damage has spread beyond Kyushu into central Japan’s scenic mountain villages known for hot springs and hiking.

Search and rescue work continued in Kuma village, where nine people are missing and the effort has been delayed by deep floodwater and the risk of more mudslides. People isolated by the flooding are still being airlifted to safety.

In Omuta, about 200 people were left stranded at two evacuation centres after floodwaters surged in the area.

In the famous hot springs town of Yufuin in Oita prefecture, an innkeeper was found dead, and rescuers were searching for three of her family members still missing.

More than 75,000 residents in the prefectures of Kumamoto and Kagoshima were urged to evacuate following pounding rains last week.

The death toll from the heavy rains that started in the early hours of July 4 is expected to climb as search efforts for the missing continued at sites hit by landslides and floods.

The Meteorological Agency has issued evacuation advisories in Nagasaki and other areas on the Kyushu region due to continuing downpours.

In 2018, more than hundred were killed due to heavy floods in parts of Japan, with dozens reportedly missing.

The rainfall that exceeded 100 millimeters (4 inches) per hour has since subsided but the Japan Meteorological Agency has kept mudslide warnings in place across Kumamoto.