Almost 15,000 houses and residential buildings have been destroyed, damaged, or flooded as a result of the downpours predominantly in southwest Japan, the NHK broadcaster reported on Tuesday.

Non-stop heavy rains have led to floods and landslides in many residential areas. According to the authorities, a total of 14,800 houses have suffered damages.

The death toll from the natural disaster currently stands at 72, while 13 people remain missing.

On Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe paid a visit to the affected Kumamoto prefecture on Kyushu island to assess the damage. Abe pledged to assist local authorities in disaster recovery.