Friday, 20 July, 2018

Japan floods: Heavy rain and floods cause huge damage

62 Dead Dozens Missing After'Unprecedented Rain In Japan Japan floods leave at least 64 people dead and scores missing
Kenny Thornton | 11 July, 2018, 10:27

A helicopter flies over Mabi town which was flooded by the heavy rain in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, Japan, on Monday.

Flooding and landslides caused by record rains are believed to have killed more than 100 people, with scores missing.

With dozens reportedly still missing, the toll from the worst weather-related disaster in Japan in over three decades was expected to rise further.

Japanese media on Wednesday focused on the timing of evacuation orders issued in the hard-hit Mabi district of Kurashiki city just minutes before a levee broke and water poured into the residential area.

Many major highways and rail lines are still closed and tens of thousands of homes in Hiroshima are still without electricity or clean water.

Chugoku Electric Power Co. and Shikoku Electric Power Co. said about 3,200 households were without electricity on the morning of July 10. "There are still many people who have been unaccounted for".

The rain set off landslides and flooded rivers, trapping many people in their homes or on rooftops.

"I can't go back if I wanted to", the 66-year-old retired Self-Defence serviceman said, holding a bird cage, in which the birds chirped as he spoke.

"We are checking every single house to see if there are people still trapped inside them", said an official with the local Okayama prefecture government, the AFP reported.

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Rescuers on boats head for search in the partly submerged area in water after heavy rain in Kurashiki city, Japan.

Top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said Tuesday that at least 141 people had been killed.

In the town of Mihara, roads were transformed into muddy flowing rivers, with dirt piled up on either side as flood water gushed around the wheels of stranded cars.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has cancelled an overseas trip to cope with the disaster, which at one point forced several million from their homes.

To address food and water shortages in disaster-hit areas, Abe said trucks ferrying supplies to convenience stores and other retailers will be treated as emergency vehicles. Nationwide, some four million people have been advised, though not ordered, to evacuate their homes and about 30,000 are in temporary evacuation centers, news agencies reported. Residents lined up for water under a scorching sun as temperatures rose to 35 Celsius (95 Fahrenheit), raising the risk of heat stroke.

Police arrive to clear debris scattered on a street in a flood hit area in Kumano, Hiroshima prefecture.

Mr Abe said the government will provide financial recovery aid to the affected areas, as he convened an emergency task force meeting for the second day in a row.

Japan issues weather warnings early, but its dense population means that nearly every bit of usable land, including some flood plains, is built on in the mostly mountainous country, leaving it prone to disasters.

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