Late last week, western Japan was hit with a massive rainstorm, which resulted in floods and landslides. The catastrophic event caused the death of 88 Japanese civilians, and an additional 58 are still missing. The rainstorm left around two thousand people in the city of Kurashiki alone.
Officials broadcasted evacuation orders to nearly two million people before the storm. Landslides, which can destroy houses and be fatal, were expected. According to NHK, a Japanese broadcaster, Japan was hit with about 14.3 inches of rain from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Sunday.
Rescue workers and emergency services have been aiding victims of the natural disaster. Workers used helicopters and boats to save individuals from buildings.
JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER CONCENTRATES ON THE HORRIFIC RAINSTORM
An official from the Japanese Meteorological Agency commented:
“This is a situation of extreme danger.”
[Message from the PM]
Some 54,000 members of the Self-Defense Forces, police, firefighters, and the Japan Coast Guard have been working around the clock to conduct urgent rescue operations.
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(Originally Posted in Japanese at 13:56, July 8) pic.twitter.com/9rsk378DpQ
— PM's Office of Japan (@JPN_PMO) July 9, 2018
The prime minister’s office has been converted to an emergency management center for victims. About 54,000 uniformed workers— police, fire department, military, etc. — scattered across the western area to rescue people. On Sunday morning, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said:
“There are still many people missing and others in need of help, we are working against time.”
The Prime Minister also canceled planned visits to Belguim, France, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia to focus on the domestic situation.
One of the search teams found a 3-year-old dead near her house, killed by a landslide. An elderly man commented:
“It’s very painful. I have a granddaughter the same age. If it were her, I wouldn’t be able to stop crying.”
On the tiny island of Nuwa, responders found two young sisters dead. They attended an elementary school of only six students. Their principal remarked:
“It was such a sudden disaster, I just cannot come to grips with it.”
Around 276,000 households have no water supply. TV footage shows empty shelves in supply stores and Japanese residents trying to get water. Roads closed, and some train services were suspended in the western region.
Featured Picture via/ VOA News