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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

One dead as Japan issues a warning about the southwest’s “heaviest rain ever


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On Monday, forecasters warned of the “heaviest rain ever” in the area, which resulted in one death and the recommendation for hundreds of thousands of people to leave their homes.

After a week of nonstop rain, torrential downpours have caused rivers to overflow and landslides, including one that killed a 77-year-old lady, to occur.

According to the local fire brigade, the woman’s house in the Saga region was destroyed over night. Her husband was found alive and was transported to the hospital.

Officials in the adjoining Oita area stated that a second woman, who was last seen clinging to a car in rising floodwaters, was presumed dead.

More than 420,000 people were under a top-level evacuation notice stating: “Your life is in danger; you need to take immediate action.” At least nine further persons were missing as a result of landslides in the Fukuoka and Oita regions.

A lesser warning was issued for nearly two million more people in Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Saga, Yamaguchi, and Oita, advising them to leave dangerous locations.

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Although there are five different degrees of evacuation orders in Japan, no one can be made to leave their home.

Strong wind gusts and rain were also present. Lightning was present. Takashi Onizuka, 62, of Tachiarai town in Fukuoka near Kurume told AFP, “It was really awful.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Fukuoka and Oita could see flooding and landslides as a result of the intense downpours.

According to Satoshi Sugimoto of JMA’s forecast section, this is the most rain the area has ever seen.

He continued, “Safety must be guaranteed because lives are in danger.”

“Person lives first”

A residence in Karatsu City that had partially collapsed into a river was seen in a cleft in the hillside above it, with many of its traditional roof tiles broken or sliding off, in footage carried by the national network NHK.

In other images, raging torrents were seen washing over bridges.

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A task committee has been formed, according to the prime minister’s office, to plan a reaction to the rains.

Hirokazu Matsuno, a top government spokesperson, told reporters that “we have received reports that several rivers have flooded… and that landslides have occurred in various parts” of the nation.

The administration is making every effort to gather a thorough picture of the damage, and it is acting in accordance with the principle that “people’s lives come first,” he continued.

He issued a warning that Tuesday was expected to bring severe rain to parts of the nation.

The prime minister’s office reports that a task team has been established to organise a response to the rains.

A senior government official, Hirokazu Matsuno, told journalists that “we have received reports that several rivers have flooded… and that landslides have occurred in various parts” of the country.

He stated, “The administration is responding in accordance with the premise that “people’s lives come first,” and it is making every effort to get an accurate picture of the damage.

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He warned that Tuesday was likely to bring heavy rain to some areas of the country.

Homes are frequently constructed on lowlands at the base of mountains in the mountainous nation of Japan, increasing the risk of landslides during periods of severe rainfall.

Rain in the central vacation town of Atami in 2021 caused a catastrophic landslip that claimed 27 lives.

And during the rainy season in 2018, landslides and floods in western Japan claimed the lives of over 200 individuals.

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