Heavy rains and flash floods terrorize Western Japan

50 people are confirmed dead and another 50 people are presumed missing due to heavy rains that hit a large part of Western Japan last Saturday causing landslides and flooding that submerged or destroyed homes.

 

4.72 million people were ordered to evacuate while around 48,000 Self-Defense Forces personnel, police and firefighting services were brought in to search for trapped or injured people or the dead if any were found.

 

photo credit to: https://www.aljazeera.com

 

Japan Meteorological Agency issued warnings about severe flooding and landslides. The warnings are only issued by the authorities when extreme conditions are anticipated or if they happen once or twice in a century.

 

Landslides claimed 22 people in Hiroshima and 18 died in in Osaka, Shiga, Hyogo, Okayama, Yamaguchi and Fukuoka prefectures.

 

Four years ago, in 2014, 77 people died in Hiroshima when heavy rains caused massive landslides that obliterated homes. A 71-year-old man recounted his experience with 2014 to the one yesterday and said that it was stronger than the one four years ago and wondered what would happen to him.

 

Five people were confirmed dead in Seiyo due to the rain. The death toll includes people who were swept away in their car. In an island off the prefectural capital of Matsuyama, a 30-year-old woman and her two children were killed when a mudslide downed their home.

 

Also in Okayama, a home for the elderly was besieged and over a hundred people were left on the second floor, while about 15 people climbed the roofs of their homes, engulfing them, as water gushed through the town.

 

An apartment complex in Hiroshima saw 100 people stranded on Friday due to heavy flooding and by Saturday, they were finally rescued and brought to safety.

 

In a wide area of western Japan, rivers were overflowing, and wooden bridges as well as metal bridges of low quality were washed away. Transportation in and out was difficult and disrupted.

 

Reference: At least 50 dead, scores missing as torrential rains lash Japan

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