Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Death toll mounts to 100 as Japan receives record rainfall

Death toll mounts to 100 as Japan receives record rainfall

While the world fixates on the rescue of the Thai football boys from a flooded cave, Japan was in disaster management and recovery mode on Monday after catastrophic downpours killed more than 100 people.

Dozens of people have been killed and 2 million forced to flee their homes after record rains pounded southwest Japan, triggering widespread flooding and deadly landslides. Some 30,000 people remained in shelters on Sunday, while the evacuation orders and advisories were issued for almost 6 million people, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.

He said 80 people were unaccounted for, many of them in the hardest-hit Hiroshima area.

The heaviest rainfall seen in Japan for decades has caused destruction over large parts of the country, particularly in the south-west, where 58 people are missing.

Television footage showed patients and staff waiting for rescue on a balcony at Mabi Memorial Hospital.

Further complicating fix efforts is the fact that many railroads and highways are closed, too flooded to operate, placing many affected areas out of reach.

Rescue workers look for missing people in a house damaged by heavy rain in Kumano, Hiroshima Prefecture, on July 9. Eiko Yamane, a resident of Hiroshima, explained to TIME, "Hiroshima prefecture is normally blessed with mild weather and has few natural disasters so people here have never experienced a situation like this".

Debris fills a small village following heavy rains Sunday, July 8, 2018, in Kuchita-Minami, Asakita-ku, Hiroshima, Japan.

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A man walks past a damaged street in Saka, Hiroshima prefecture.

In neighbouring Okayama prefecture, rescue workers flew in helicopters over areas that are still submerged and otherwise unreachable, looking for signs of life.

About 51,000 homes were cut off from electricity in six prefectures and some 269,672 homes suffered water outages in 12 prefectures in western Japan as of Monday evening, the government said. According to the city, there are around 4,600 flooded houses, while evacuees from the entire district are estimated to be between 3,000 and 5,000.

Further north, in Gifu Prefecture, the Tsubogawa River overflowed, flooding nearby roads and damaging houses.

"My body is sticky because I haven't taken a bath and I left my glasses behind and can't see anything", said a woman in her 70s, who was rescued by Self-Defense Forces personnel after being found trapped in her home in water up to her chest.

Yamaguchi, Kyoto, Gifu, Shiga, Hyogo, Kochi, Fukuoka and Kagoshima prefectures have also been affected by the downpour.

"Ten people are officially listed as missing".

Taiwan pledged Monday to donate 20 million yen (U.S.$180,000) to help out the victims of floods and landslides in western Japan caused by unprecedented rainfall.

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