Work to rebuild disaster-hit areas in Kyushu was under way Thursday, with local governments accepting debris for disposal following torrential rain that began a week ago.
The Fukuoka city government has started receiving up to 100 tons of debris per day, including furniture and goods from damaged homes in the city of Asakura in Fukuoka Prefecture. The city of Kitakyushu will also soon start accepting up to 50 tons of debris.
The cities Fukuoka and Kurume also plan to dispose of debris from the village of Toho.
The Fukuoka prefectural government on Thursday confirmed a body recovered last weekend was that of a woman from Asakura, raising the death toll from the massive flooding and mudslides to 30 people in Fukuoka and Oita prefectures, with around 20 still unaccounted for. The largest number of victims have been found in Toho and Asakura.
While Self-Defense Forces personnel are continuing to search for the missing people, municipalities are moving toward reconstruction.
Shunsuke Morita, mayor of Asakura, revealed a plan to build a temporarty housing complex to maintain strong community ties.
The Oita prefectural government, meanwhile, ended the search for missing people and said Ground Self-Defense Force personnel may leave now that access has been restored to areas that were cut off.
Also on Thursday, the land and infrastructure ministry and Fukuoka prefectural government began surveying driftwood that has accumulated in rivers in Asakura.
About 690 houses have been destroyed or damaged by mudslides and flooding since the torrential rain began last week. Roads and bridges have been severed and many people are unable to return to their homes.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said during his visit to Oita and Fukuoka prefectures on Wednesday that the central government "will do all it can to improve conditions at evacuation centers and secure housing."