Abe visiting flood-hit western Japan as deaths reach 176

13 July, 2018, 04:54 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Rescue workers look at a damaged house in Hiroshima Japan after heavy rains and flooding on July 8

The rains are the worst weather-related disaster in Japan since two typhoons struck in quick succession in August and September 2011, killing almost 100 people.

The Japan Meteorology Agency issued fresh alerts for mountainous prefectures as the number of disaster victims climbs in areas inundated with rainfall over a long period of time - posing a higher risk for deadly landslides.

Torrential rain across western Japan has severed transportation links in the region, with the discovery of more bodies on Thursday pushing the death toll up to 200.

The rain, which has been worst in western parts of the country, has completely blanketed some villages, forcing desperate residents to take shelter on their rooftops with flood water swirling below as they waited for rescue.

Nearly 2 million people were still subject to evacuation orders, while tens of thousands of rescue workers battled mud, water and rubble to search for survivors stranded in their homes.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said as much as 10 centimeters of rain per hour fell on large parts of southwestern Japan.

The heavy rain also left about 240,000 households in 11 prefectures without running water as of Thursday morning, according to calculations by The Yomiuri Shimbun.

Rainfall estimate in Japan from July 2 through 9.

"I'm anxious because I have no idea how long it will stay like this".

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Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned Sunday that rescue workers faced a "race against time" to reach people who remained trapped.

Residents sheltering at the Yano school were provided with water, blankets and cellphone chargers.

Elsewhere, work crews tried to clear multiple small landslides that coated roads, rendering them virtually impassable.

In another hard-hit town, Ozu in Ehime prefecture, water supplies were entirely cut off and residents could not clean their mud-stained homes, or even their clothes. "The water level is expected to go down, as we are clearing driftwood and other rubble, but that's far from a guarantee of safety", he told AFP by phone.

"We are doing our best".

Some cities within Okayama prefecture saw flooding of almost 30 percent of the total area, while the number of partially or fully destroyed homes nationwide exceeds 10,000. (Reuters/Issei Kato) A local resident walks in a flooded area in Mabi.

"Since a lot of people are still unaccounted for, we are carrying out rescue operations under a policy that saving lives is the top priority", Suga told reporters. "We raised our three small sons to adulthood here, there are so many memories", she said, her eyes welling with tears.

"The roads and water systems are damaged, so it's hard to predict at this moment". In Kita Kyushu city, a 68-year-old man was killed in a landslide.

M - almost 80 people are believed to be dead in Japan after three days of torrential rain made rivers burst their banks, Al Jazeera reported.

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