Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Death Toll Exceeds 100 After Heavy Rainfall Slams Japan

Residents look over their flooded town in Kurashiki Okayama Prefecture western Japan Residents look over their flooded town in Kurashiki Okayama Prefecture western
Melinda Barton | 11 July, 2018, 10:26

At least 161 people were killed and 57 are missing, NHK national television said, in Japan's worst weather disaster since 1982. "Some of our neighbours had their apartments destroyed, others are still looking for their families".

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Abe had canceled his trip to Belgium, France, Saudi Arabia and Egypt because of the disaster.

A local bathing facility has been set up free of charge for residents in Mabicho, but those without cars can not make the journey there, and many continue to go without being able to bathe.

Delivery companies Sagawa Express Co. and Yamato Transport Co. and cargo service Japan Freight Railway Co. said some of their shipments to and from the flooded areas have been suspended or reduced.

It is the deadliest rain event in Japan since 2014, when at least 74 people died due to landslides that were triggered by torrential downpours in the Hiroshima region.

Authorities said high temperatures were forecast for Monday, posing new challenges for the many people stuck in modestly equipped shelters with few possessions or damaged homes with no water or electricity.

At one point, evacuation orders or advisories were issued for up to 5.9 million people in 19 prefectures, according to a tally by Kyodo News.

Rainfall estimate in Japan from July 2 through 9. Supplies such as water, blankets and cellphone chargers were provided.

Japanese authorities issued evacuation orders to around five million people during the worst of the rains, but the orders are not mandatory, and many ignored them.

Refineries and oil terminals were not affected but blockages in roads leading to one Showa Shell oil terminal in Hiroshima caused gas and diesel shortages nearby.

Minoru Katayama, 86, rushed back to his home in Mabi city, in Okayama prefecture, on Monday, and found his 88-year-old wife, Chiyoko, dead on the first floor.

Fire fighters walk through an area affected by heavy flooding on July 10, 2018 in Kurashiki, Japan.

More than 54,000 emergency workers, police and troops have been deployed to help people, with the Self Defense Forces dispatching several planes to help airlift residents to safety.

The return of good weather to the heavily flooded Mabicho district of Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, made it easier for SDF members and firefighters to search for residents trapped in their homes.

The assessment of casualties has been hard because of the widespread area affected.

The government has mobilized 75,000 troops and emergency workers and almost 80 helicopters for the search and rescue effort, Suga said. The Japan Meteorological Agency has reported that one area of the Kochi prefecture experienced a staggering 26.3 centimeters (10.4 inches) of precipitation in just three hours, almost as much as the average amount for the entire month of July (32.8 centimeters or 12.9 inches), typically southwestern Japan's second wettest month after June.