Disasters & Accidents

Torrential rains continue in Japan, leaving at least 45 dead

Tokyo, Jul 6 (efe-epa).- Torrential rains continued this Monday in southwestern Japan, where they have left at least 45 dead and a dozen missing, in addition to numerous flooded towns and serious material damage to homes and infrastructure.

Record rainfall on Monday has prompted the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) to declare the highest alert in Fukuoka, Saga and Nagasaki prefectures, all on the southwestern island of Kyushu.

These torrential rains are in addition to those that fell during the weekend in Kumamoto, also in Kyushu, and where the majority of fatalities and disappeared so far have occurred.

At least 44 people have died in that Japanese prefecture, according to the latest figures offered by local authorities, who also reported another victim with cardiorespiratory arrest, a rating they use provisionally until the case is registered as death.

Of that number of fatalities, 14 died in a nursing home located in an area near the Kuma river that was flooded, according to the Kumamoto government reported in a press conference.

Rescue efforts, in which members of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (Army) are participating, continue in the prefecture, where rainfall has caused river overflows and floods in a dozen towns, in addition to landslides and blockades of roads.

Rainfall of up to 100 millimeters per hour and accumulated 800 millimeters have been recorded in this region, levels that have never been observed since records exist.

In the other three prefectures declared on alert, the level of rainfall is also the highest recorded in decades at this time of year in Japan, considered the rainy season.

The meteorological phenomenon has led local authorities to order the evacuation of more than 250,000 people in the four aforementioned and other neighboring prefectures.

But these procedures have been hampered by precautions to avoid possible coronavirus infections, which have led to halving the capacity of temporary accommodation such as gyms and other public facilities and to enabling thermometers and disinfecting gels for evacuees.

The JMA anticipates that the torrential rains will continue in the southwest of the country for the rest of the day on Monday and Tuesday, and recommends that the inhabitants of the affected areas remain in their homes as long as they are safe or move to the centers of evacuation enabled. EFE-EPA


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