image sourceKyodo via Reutersimage captionExperts warn the rain is forecast to continue throughout the week

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.

One woman is dead and her husband and daughter are missing after a landslide destroyed two homes in Nagasaki prefecture amid the bad weather.

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.

Yushi Adachi, from Japan's meteorological agency, described the current rainfall as "unprecedented".

"It's highly likely that some kind of disaster has already occurred," Mr Adachi added.

image [email protected] via Reutersimage captionStreets in Fukuoka prefecture were photographed flooding on Saturdayimage sourceKyodo via Reutersimage captionSome residents were seen in boats being escorted to safety

Local television footage showed submerged roads. Rivers in Saga and Fukuoka have overflowed with water levels still rising, local outlet NHK news reported Saturday.

The flooding comes just weeks after heavy rain caused landslides and prompted rivers to burst their banks, killing dozens.