HIROSHIMA, Japan — The Latest on aftermath of heavy rains in Japan (all times local):

3:25 a.m.

The United Nations says Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has written to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe offering U.N. support to help deal with severe flooding and landslides.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Wednesday that Guterres expressed his condolences for the loss of life and destruction.

He says the U.N. chief "commended the government's efforts to help people affected and expressed his admiration for the domestic search and rescue teams helping those in need."

Abe visited an evacuation center Wednesday in a hard-hit flood zone in western Japan. The overall death toll from flooding has climbed to 176.

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2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has visited an evacuation center in a hard-hit flood zone in western Japan, promising to provide utmost support.

Abe visited a shelter at an elementary school gymnasium in Kurashiki, a city where more than 40 people died. The overall death toll has climbed to 176.

Abe ducked in front of an elderly woman sitting on the floor, and pledged that his government will do utmost to bring back her ordinary life as soon as possible. About 200 residents were taking refuge at the shelter he visited.

Rescue and recovery work continued for a fifth day in search of the missing.

Most of the deaths from record-setting rainfall last week were in Hiroshima and the surrounding area.

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11 a.m.

Japan's government says 176 people have been confirmed dead after last week's heavy rains in western Japan as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits a hard-hit city.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday that Abe would visit an evacuation center in Kurashiki, a city where a river broke through an embankment and swept through residential areas, killing more than 40 people.

Tens of thousands of rescue and recovery workers and volunteers are digging through the debris, as the search for dozens still missing enters its fifth day.

Record-setting rainfall caused severe flooding and landslides, toppling and burying homes across a wide area. Most of the deaths were in Hiroshima and the surrounding area.