Tokyo- At least 50 people, including several children, killed in Japan today, when landslides triggered by torrential rain slammed into the outskirts of the western city of Hiroshima, and the toll could raise further, police said.

The regional police headquarters in the western Japan city said atleast 50 other people remained unaccounted for, four days after unusual downpours triggered landslides that swallowed dozens of homes, many of them perched on hillside housing areas.

A total of about 3,000 rescuers including ground troops, fire fighters and police continued digging through mud and debris but the search and rescue operation overnight was halted at around dawn today as fresh rain raised concerns about more landslips.

About 1,700 people remained sheltered at 13 safe public facilities while the Hiroshima city government upheld evacuation orders and warnings for 164,000 residents in the disaster areas.

The body of a 83-year-old man was found early today, raising the death toll to 50, a prefectural police spokesman said.