Workers survey the devastation following days of heavy rain and flooding in the village of Kuma, Kumamoto Prefecture, on Thursday. Photo: AFP/CHARLY TRIBALLEAU

Rescuers scramble to reach thousands trapped by floods

By Charly Triballeau

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"A special characteristic of this disaster I felt was not people hesitating to evacuate, but people hesitating to offer help," one doctor said, according to NHK.

Quite a startling statement, I wonder why this is? Are people just numbed into inaction by yet another natural catastrophe in Japan?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Should not be scrambling, should be trained. The emergency services and SDF are required every year to deploy to natural disasters. They do an amazing job every year. It's the bueacatic crap that slows things down. Hell over a thousand people took refuge at a non designated spot a year ago, and were denied help because they were not at a designated spot. Madness. I guess the decision makers desk was/ is on a different floor and too far from the fax, although Diaster control people just don't watch the weather segment on TV?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If flooding is a regular occurrence why build houses that are easily damaged? Japan is short of flat land so I understand it isn’t possible to avoid areas likely to flood but it is not beyond the wit of man to build flood resistant buildings and easily cleaned ones so as to minimise the impact of the event. It’s called forward planning, it’s one of the characteristics purportedly differentiating humans from the rest of the animal kingdom.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There are very few places in Japan which could be declared 100% free from all natural disasters. Mountains and rivers are always nearby. Fault lines. Unpredictable typhoons.

Homes are built to the costs. You can say the same about tornado alley in America. Homes constructed of steel and concrete cost much more.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@englisc aspyrged

May pay the opposite logic: build so poor and fragile homes that, even ground-zero destructed, they are easy and quick to rebuild. That approach naturally has on the cons the necessity to not own a large number of possessions or things that are not easy to take away quickly.

1 ( +1 / -0 )


The Japanese are people that have got a strong sense of community involvment, so they are surprised if someone value (at least on the public stance, hypocrisy is a constant of humans) his own interest over the near ones. So the medic statement got sense. No doubt that Japanese society became more individualistic than 100 yrs ago.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

All the best to those thousands caught up in this awful flood. I hope the emergency workers and volunteers can get to the trapped people ASAP. Many, many lives of old and sick people are on the line if medical help isnt there within 24-48 hours.

When is Japan going to get some luck for once with all these horrible disasters.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Where are all the HERO'S !???

All gone, one thing I noticed is that in Japan there aren't many Hero's!?

Then it took me a while, about 20 years to be exact to understand how and why there are NO Hero's.

Very simple, Hero's are looked at as trouble makers, or doing something for his or her own benefits or personal gains, and in many cases the HERO becomes the victim, or gets investigated by the police or somehow gets involved in a legal matter. so it's a troublesome to be A Hero, or as they say in Japanese "MENDOKSAI", so NOT getting involved or NOT being A Hero becomes a much better choice for many who want to help.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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