More than one million people have been told to evacuate their homes amid heavy rainfall in parts of Japan.
Highest-level rain warnings have been issued in a number of prefectures, including Fukuoka and Hiroshima.
More than 150 troops, police and fire-fighters have been sent to help with rescue operations in the area.
"They are carefully searching for the missing residents, while watching out for further mudslides as the heavy rain continues," a local official told the AFP news agency.
The west of the country is worst affected but heavy downpours are expected across the country in coming days.