Nearly 40 feared dead as torrential rains continue in southwestern Japan


Nearly 40 people were feared dead as torrential rains continued to hit Japan's southwestern island of Kyushu, with river banks at risk of bursting on Monday morning and new evacuation orders put in place.

Flooding and mudslides that began at the weekend have killed 21 people so far in Kumamoto Prefecture. A further 18 people were showing no vital signs and presumed dead pending official confirmation, and 13 people were missing, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a news conference.

"I offer my deepest condolences for those who have passed from the torrential rains," Suga said, adding that some 40,000 members of the Self-Defense Force were involved in rescue missions.

He added that evacuation centers were also working on preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus by distributing disinfectant and asking evacuees to maintain their distance from each other.

As of Saturday, some 200,000 have been ordered to evacuate their homes, according to Kyodo news agency.

The floods are Japan's worst natural disaster since Typhoon Hagibis in October last year that left about 90 people dead.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Tonight will be bad, by all accounts. The rain still lashing down. My wife commented that she would not be able to sleep if she was living in that part of Kyushu.

Stay safe if any of you are reading this.

First Aid kit and lighting equipment, and get ready to head for higher ground if by the river.

Sleep upstairs and on the side away from the hill if you are at the foot of a slope.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

I live in Hiroshima, today the factory where I work closed after lunch due to heavy rain so everyone could be able to go home safely.

The JR train line has already stopped.

And it is still raining, Ive already received alert messages on my cellphone.

Until tomorrow things will probably get worse.

Please stay safe everyone!

13 ( +13 / -0 )

The Met Office have issued a severe rain warning for Nagasaki, Saga and Fukuoka. The highest scale.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Just watched an interview on the TV news (6:00 pm Monday) with a woman who said she woke up feeling cold water on the small of her back. She suddenly realized what was happening, went to grab her children and rushed upstairs. She said she really thought they were going to die.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Don’t blame nature being crazy. This happens every year! This is human neglect. Why are nursing homes near landslide locations? This has happened before. Kyushu, Shikoku, southern Wakayama, especially - they KNOW they are in danger of heavy floods at this time of year.

And it’s almost always early July - not June, as people like to say is so rainy. Early July, before summer heat onset.

Japanese gov’t institutions have to be more proactive for people’s safety!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

What a tragety!

I can’t imagine losing family and friends this way. I hope those affected can find peace.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Dont disagree with memoryfix but cost prohibitive to relocate all nursing homes from flood zones. Surely the flood warning and evacuation could have been more timely however...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This happens every year! 

Well yes, sadly so, but research shows that incidence of extreme rainfall over the past decade in Japan has increased by nearly 1.4 times more frequent that previous averages. THIS needs to be addressed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Looks like Kumamoto, cant catch a break;

"17 dead as record heavy rain pounds Oita, Kumamoto Jul 13, 2012"

"Apr 14, 2016 ... Kumamoto EARTHQUAKE 6.5 earthquake followed by an M7.3"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fanny Greene. Japan has a long history of literally walking into natural disasters - and slowness in restoration. It’s a country of wonderful people, excuse for nursing homes having ever been built in such dangerous locations.

ifd66. Increased rainfall the last decade? Well, I’ve been here much longer than that. By the way, most people talk about “dry tsuyu” compared to the old days. June has certainly become much drier, and the tsuyu is now shorter. This is not an opinion I’m expressing. Drier and hotter summers is a fact. There have always been “extreme rainfalls” - before and since a decade ago. There is a “rain event” virtually every year and there’s almost always human error or negligence involved. Usually in the locations that I listed. The heaviest rain I’ve experienced where I live here in Kyoto was 350mm in a thunderstorm that lasted nearly four hours. It wasn’t even in the rainy season. About 15 years ago, I think.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@memoryfix agree with most everything you say, except ' slowness in restoration. '

Compared to other countries, I'd say Japan is Speedy Gonzalez

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"" memoryfixJuly 6 07:09 pm JST

*Don’t blame nature being crazy. This happens every year! This is human neglect. Why are nursing homes near landslide locations? This has happened before. Kyushu, Shikoku, southern Wakayama, especially - they KNOW they are in danger of heavy floods at this time of year ""*

Hmmm. A disturbing thought just crossed my mind; what if this was done on purpose (by the authorities)? To lessen the burden of looking after an increasingly elderly population, why not let nature get rid of them? I wouldn't be surprised if some people in the government think this way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Now we know why the people of Kyushu are strong and resilient.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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