Death toll in record Japan flooding rises to at least 75

Death toll in record Japan flooding rises to at least 75

Police arrive to clear debris scattered on a street in a flood hit area in Kumano, Hiroshima prefecture on July 9, 2018.

Some residents of Mabi had shrugged off the warnings, however, given the area's history of floods.

On Tuesday, rescuers were combing through mud-covered hillsides and along riverbanks searching for dozens of people still missing as much as three inches of rain fell per hour over the weekend.

The toll, up from 141 previously, is the highest Japan has seen from a flood in more than three decades, UNI reported.

In neighbouring Okayama prefecture, rescue workers flew in helicopters over areas that are still submerged and otherwise unreachable, looking for signs of life. Most of the deaths were in Hiroshima and the surrounding area. Since Thursday, landslides and flooded rivers have trapped many people in their houses or on rooftops.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said 122 people have been confirmed dead as of early Tuesday.

"I'm anxious there could be a significant impact on production, consumption and tourism", Toshiro Miyashita, Bank of Japan's Fukuoka branch manager, who oversees the Kyushu region, told a news conference.

The recent rainfall was unprecedented and disaster experts said torrential rains are becoming more frequent, possibly due to global warming.

Although evacuation orders were scaled back from the weekend, almost 2 million people still face orders or advice to keep away from homes, fire and disaster officials said.


The government has set up a taskforce to speed up deliveries of supplies and other support for evacuation centres and residents in the region, but disrupted roads and other ground transportation have delayed shipment, raising concerns of shortages.

Abe, who cancelled an overseas trip to deal with the disaster, was criticized after a photograph posted on Twitter showed Abe and his defense minister at a party with lawmakers just as the rains intensified.

Meanwhile, the rains also shuttered factories, paralysed logistics supply chains and closed businesses including 24-hour convenience stores.

"It will be over 35 Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) in some areas".

In Hiroshima, Okayama and Ehime prefectures, the Japan Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT), which comprises doctors, nurses and other staff members dispatched from outside those prefectures, began its activities, visiting evacuation centers to see if there were any evacuees complaining about health problems. HuffPost reports that evacuation orders or advisories were issued for 4.72 million people.

Hundreds of homes have been destroyed or damaged.

More rain is expected over the next few days.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned at an emergency government meeting that "the situation is extremely serious" and ordered his government to "make an all-out effort" to rescue those affected.

Officials have issued landslide warnings over nearly the entire island.

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