Flood de­ath toll hits 20 as Ja­pan war­ned of mo­re rain­fall

Times of Suriname - - PANORAMA -

TOKYO - The de­ath toll from floods and landsli­des un­leas­hed by tor­ren­ti­al rains on Ja­pan’s sou­t­hern is­land of Kyus­hu ro­se to 20 on Sun­day, with 14 pe­o­p­le mis­sing, NHK pu­blic TV said. Mo­re hea­vy rain is fo­re­cast af­ter Sa­tur­day’s dead­ly de­lu­ge in the Ku­ma­mo­to pre­fec­tu­re, Ja­pan’s worst na­tu­ral disas­ter sin­ce Typhoon Ha­gi­bis in Oc­to­ber last year left about 90 pe­o­p­le dead.

Pri­me Mi­nis­ter Shin­zo Abe told a mee­ting of Ja­pan’s disas­ter res­pon­se task for­ce to step up the search and res­cue ope­ra­ti­ons. “No­thing is mo­re im­por­tant than hu­man li­ves. Plea­se ma­ke ut­most ef­fort through the night to search for mis­sing pe­o­p­le”, Abe said af­ter Ja­pa­ne­se te­le­vi­si­on broad­cast images of over­tur­ned cars, pe­o­p­le sho­vel­ling mud from their ho­mes and the mi­li­ta­ry res­cuing strand­ed re­si­dents in boats.

“We had no elec­tri­ci­ty and no run­ning wa­ter”, one res­cued wo­man told the broad­cas­ter. “It was tough.” TV foot­a­ge al­so showed a gym­na­si­um­tur­ned-eva­cu­a­ti­on cen­tre equip­ped with fa­ce mas­ks, di­s­in­fec­tants and ther­mo­me­ters to pre­vent co­ro­na­vi­rus in­fec­ti­ons. The Ja­pan Me­te­o­ro­lo­gi­cal

Agency ur­ged pe­o­p­le to stay vi­gi­lant, as mo­re rains are pre­dic­ted. “From this eve­ning on, ex­tre­me­ly hea­vy rains with thun­der are ex­pec­ted in sou­t­hern as well as nor­thern Kyus­hu”, an agency of­fi­ci­al told Reu­ters. “The rain­fall so far has al­rea­dy loo­se­ned the ground. The­re is a high chan­ce of landsli­des oc­cur­ring, even wit­hout much ad­di­ti­o­nal rain.” (Reu­ters)

Lo­cal re­si­dents are res­cued by Ja­pa­ne­se Self­De­fen­ce For­ce sol­diers using a boat at a flooding area cau­sed by a hea­vy rain in Ku­ma vil­la­ge, Ku­ma­mo­to pre­fec­tu­re, sou­t­hern Ja­pan, in this photo ta­ken by Ky­o­do Ju­ly 5, 2020. (Photo:Reu­ters)

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