Refrigerators and other debris are piled up to about 3 meters in some places of a playground at a closed elementary school in Mihara, Hiroshima Prefecture, on July 11. The school was designated a temporary storage place for wreckage, and the site opened on July 10. (Kazuhiro Ichikawa)

Lives were lost and livelihoods are now in jeopardy after days of heavy rainfall devastated the birthplace of Ehime Prefecture’s famed “mikan” oranges.

The Yoshida district of Uwajima in the prefecture on Shikoku island has been one of the largest producing areas of mikan in the nation. But it is now littered with debris and mud from landslides following the torrential rain that pounded western Japan.

“I don’t know what to do with my mikan fields because my hands are full removing mud from my home,” a 65-year-old farmer said.

Most of his fields were washed away in the disaster.

Farmers spread their mikan fields on the side of steep hills near the sea because the strong reflection from the water enhanced the sweetness of the fruit.

Many areas of the hills collapsed in the rain. The landslides not only carried mikan trees into the sea but also swallowed many homes.

Eleven people died in the Yoshida district.

Agricultural roads connected to the fields are now blocked by shattered trees and other debris, making it even harder for farmers to gauge the extent of the damage.

Mikan were transplanted in the Yoshida district during the Edo Period (1603-1867).

Ehime Prefecture was second only to Wakayama Prefecture in terms of mikan shipments in 2016. That year, the Ehime mikan production was worth 16.9 billion yen ($150 million), the prefectural government said.

According to the farm ministry, the downpours caused at least 11.09 billion yen in damage to farm produce, agricultural facilities and forests across the country as of 5 a.m. on July 12.

However, the number did not include damages in Hiroshima and Okayama, the prefectures with the highest death tolls in the disaster.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference on July 12 that the overall death toll from the disaster reached 200.

According to Asahi Shimbun calculations, 63 people were missing and 244,000 households had no water supplies.

At least 42 people were still unaccounted-for in Hiroshima Prefecture, while the search continued for 17 in Okayama Prefecture.

The land ministry said it has received 483 reports of landslides in 29 prefectures, consisting of 358 cliff collapses, 109 flows of debris and 16 landslips.

Sixty-three deaths from landslides have been confirmed, according to the ministry.

Most of the households without running water are in Hiroshima Prefecture.