There have been no reported South African casualties among the at least 48 people who have been killed by flash floods and landslides in Japan following torrential downpours which started on Thursday. In a statement issued Sunday, the Department of International Relations And Cooperation (Dirco) added that South African Embassy in Japan will maintain close contact with authorities. "The embassy stands ready to provide assistance should there be any South African citizens in need of support," said Dirco. President Cyril Ramaphosa sent a message of condolences to the people of Japan on Sunday and said that the thoughts of the South African people are with the people of Japan during this difficult time.AFP reported that Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned on Sunday of a "race against time" to rescue flood victims as new alerts have been issued over the record rains. According to the newswire torrential downpours have caused flash flooding and landslides across central and western parts of the country, prompting evacuation orders for more than two million people.The Japanese government has also confirmed that the death toll is expected to go up, with local media reporting that more than 60 people have died and dozens more are still missing. This is one of Japan's deadliest rain-related disasters in recent years. In 2014, at least 74 people were killed in landslides caused by torrential downpours in the Hiroshima region, AFP said.