Historic Flooding in Japan Kills At Least 100 People
Torrential rains have caused massive floods and deadly landslides in western Japan, leaving 94 people dead and dozens missing.
The disaster left a trail of destruction. Aerial photos of Kurashiki city show most of the homes were submerged by flood water. Buildings and roads were also damaged.
The rivers overflowed, turning towns into lakes and leaving dozens of people stranded on rooftops.
Almost 2 million people were still subject to evacuation orders and three million more advised to leave.
In addition, intensive rescue efforts are underway for stranded Japanese citizens and flood survivors.
This is one of the heaviest rainfalls seen in Japan for decades that has caused massive destruction over large parts of the country, particularly in the south-west.
Rescue Efforts in a Race Against Time
In a race against time, Japanese volunteers and authorities are working 24/7 to look for more survivors and stranded people. In fact, more than 50,000 members of the self-defence force, police officers, firefighters and coastguard personnel, aided by helicopters and paddle boats, were trying to rescue people from buildings, some of them stranded on rooftops just metres above the waterline.
On Sunday, the prime minister, Shinzo Abe, said efforts to locate those still stranded had turned into a “race against time.”
“There are still many people missing and others in need of help, we are working against time,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters.
“The rescue teams are doing their utmost.”
In addition, the Japanese Government set up an emergency office over the weekend, designed for crises such as major earthquakes. People have also taken to social media to plead for help.
Continuing Danger of Flood, Landslide
The Japanese authorities are doubling efforts to save lives as there is imminent danger of more landslides and flooding.
By Monday morning, the rain had eased off in the worst-affected areas, with soaring temperatures presenting a new health risk to people left without water and electricity.
Aside from that, they also advised people to wait for disaster professionals before venturing into damaged homes because of the dangers of exposed electric lines and hazardous material.
The rains are the worst weather-related disaster in Japan since two typhoons struck in quick succession in August and September 2011, killing nearly 100 people.