Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Japan rains disaster toll rises to 199: Government

The Japan disaster has left entire villages submerged by flooding and left just the top of traffic lights visible above the rising waters Japan floods: Death toll rises to 176 as Abe visits affected areas
Patty Aguilar | 12 July, 2018, 07:41

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.

With the toll mounting, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cancelled a four-country foreign trip, and he was expected to visit the disaster-hit region later this week.

Even with the break in rain, officials warned of the possibility of sudden showers, as well as new landslides in the wettest areas. We have to eat instant ramen because the supermarkets don't have much food.

The government has set up a taskforce to speed up deliveries of supplies and other support for evacuation centres and residents in the region, but disrupted roads and other ground transportation have delayed shipment, raising concerns of shortages.

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

The death toll reached at least 110 after flood waters forced several million from their homes, NHK said, in the worst flood disaster since 117 people were killed in heavy rains in 1983. In Kita Kyushu city, a 68-year-old man was killed in a landslide. About 67 people are missing, the government said.

Kyodo reported that the operations at the hospital were successfully concluded on Monday, but that while the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism had mobilized pumping trucks to drain the area, it was likely to take about two weeks to complete it.

"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. Manufacturers Mazda and Daihatsu said they had suspended work at plants in three prefectures.

Power had been restored to all but 3,500 households but more than 200,000 people remain without water under scorching sun, with temperatures hitting 33 Celsius (91 Fahrenheit) in some of the hardest-hit areas, such as the city of Kurashiki.

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Elsewhere, people soldiered on with a grim recovery. Others had been tossed upside down. "I hope they find him soon".

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.

Thousands flocked to evacuation centers in its Mabi district.

"Nobody has anything to wear".

Water accumulating behind piles of debris blocking rivers also posed a growing danger, as was seen on Monday when a swollen river began pouring into a residential area, prompting additional evacuation orders.

The economic impact was being assessed.

"Unusual weather patterns are a factor that corporations have to consider when making economic projections, but there is not much one can do", said Koya Miyamae, a senior economist at SMBC Nikko Securities.

Here are some of the factors that have contributed to the worst rain-related disaster in Japan in over two decades.

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