The death toll from the torrential rain in western Japan due to landslides, flooding and other causes has risen to 81 in 11 prefectures as of 7:30 p.m. on July 8, according to an Asahi Shimbun tally.

In addition, three people were in serious condition, and 87 others have been reported missing or are unable to be contacted.

A total of 8.63 million people in 23 prefectures from the Kyushu to Hokuriku regions have been ordered to evacuate.

On the morning of July 8, the government set up an emergency headquarters in response to the heavy rainfall in western Japan and held its first meeting at the prime minister’s office.

After the meeting, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said in a news conference that a total of 54,000 police officers, firefighters and Self-Defense Forces members have been mobilized to assist in the rescue efforts.

That figure has increased by 6,000 from the morning of July 7, Suga added.

At 5:50 a.m. on July 8, the Japan Meteorological Agency issued an "emergency warning against heavy rain" to Kochi and Ehime prefectures, meaning that serious damage could result from a deluge that might occur only once in decades.

The agency was also maintaining the same warning that had been issued to Gifu Prefecture. The warnings to the three prefectures were all lifted later on July 8.

According to the count by The Asahi Shimbun, of the 81 people who died, 36 were in Hiroshima Prefecture, 19 in Ehime Prefecture, 13 in Okayama Prefecture, three in Yamaguchi and Kyoto Prefecture, two in Fukuoka Prefecture, and one each in Shiga, Gifu, Hyogo, Saga and Kochi prefectures.

Of the 87 people, including those who went missing, 47 are in Hiroshima Prefecture, 22 in Okayama Prefecture and seven in Ehime Prefecture.

In addition, a total of 51 people suffered injuries.

The heavy rainfall of the past several days has been brought by an active seasonal rain front.

For current emergency weather warnings from the Japan Meteorological Agency: http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/indexe.html