Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Japanese government struggles to help survivors of deadly flood

Flooding and landslides have killed at least 50 people and left dozens missing in western areas of Japan Flooding and landslides have killed at least 50 people and left dozens missing in western areas of Japan
Faye Gross | 12 July, 2018, 21:43

Hiroshima and Okayama were among the hardest-hit regions alongside neighboring Tottori, Ehime, Kochi, Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Gifu, Kyoto, and Hyogo prefectures.

In west Japan, residents are picking up the pieces of what remains of their homes after record-breaking torrential rain battered the region, claiming at least 157 lives and leaving 57 people missing.

Rescuers work Wednesday at the site of a mudslide in western Japan, where heavy rains caused flooding. "I had wanted my daughter to wear it", Fukuda said, her eyes filling with tears.

According to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, around 6,700 people remain in shelters. As of noon on the day, the temperature in Ozu, Ehime Prefecture, was 34.2 C and in Hiroshima it was 31.8 C. It is important to take measures against heatstroke while search and rescue operations outside are being conducted and at evacuation centers.

A damaged auto is seen stuck in the mud in a flood hit area in Mabi, Okayama prefecture on Tuesday. "We recognize that there's a need to look into steps we can take to reduce the damage from disasters like this even a little bit", he added.

The 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.

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In areas where search-and-rescue operations had ended, construction workers and residents worked in neighborhoods to clear mud and debris and restore vehicle access to the outside and get supplies and food. Majority were rescued by boat or helicopter. And despite the let-up in the rains, new flood warnings were still being issued today.

"We had evacuation orders before and nothing happened, so I just thought this was going to be the same", said Kenji Ishii, 57, who stayed at home with his family.

KURASHIKI Unprecedented rains that have killed at least 69 people also stranded 1,850 in the Japanese city of Kurashiki yesterday, with rescuers using helicopters and boats after rivers surged over their banks. They also advised people wait for disaster professionals before venturing into damaged homes because of the dangers of exposed electric lines and hazardous material.

"We will firmly set fiscal measures to help local governments deal fully with the emergency situation and the recovery with a sense of security", said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

According to Kagoshima University Professor Takashi Jitosono, in Hiroshima and Okayama prefectures, the landslides were found to contain large, boulder-like rocks called corestones.

"We've never had this kind of rain before", an official from Japanese Meteorological Agency was quoted as saying by a news website.

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