Volunteers struggle with heat in flood-hit areas; evacuees suffering ailments


The scorching heat was making it hard for volunteers in the flood-hit areas of southwestern Japan on Saturday. Thousands of volunteers are expected to help with debris clean-up work in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, Ehime and Hiroshima prefectures during the long holiday weekend.

However, with temperatures rising to 37 degrees in the region, some volunteers showed symptoms of heatstroke, Fuji TV reported. Officials organizing volunteer teams are asking them to take regular breaks and drink plenty of water.

Workers remove debris from a house in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, on Saturday. Photo: REUTERS/Issei Kato

The volunteers have been requested to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, face masks, hats and goggles to protect them from injury from broken glass and other debris, health officials said. Some volunteers said the clothing and the heat quickly drain their energy.

Meanwhile, an increasing number of evacuees who have been living in shelters since last weekend are suffering from respiratory problems and other ailments, according to health care workers who are visiting them each day.

Furthermore, some people who have gone back to their flooded homes to clear away debris have suffered sore throats and conjunctivitis, which authorities say are caused by dust.

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People need to be evacuated to air conditioned viable towns and cities

7 ( +9 / -2 )

The volunteers have been requested to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, face masks, hats and goggles to protect them from injury from broken glass and other debris, health officials said.

its 37 degrees???

strong boots, gloves and hat should cover it. Heatstroke can be avoided if you are comefortabley dressed.

As for those in shelters why are there no fans or AC? What a mess?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

More trees! Go to any SE Asian city and many of the main streets are shaded by trees - acacias etc.

Here parks, car parks, streets are often devoid of trees or any trees there are are so severly cut back they only provide little shade.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Trees!, I was told when I asked why? Are they cropped so harshly? It's to avoid a mess in Autumn. So apparently that's why during summer there is no shade.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Agree about the trees (bury the power poles and plant trees!) but I'd say have that discussion on the other thread about the heat wave. Planting trees isn't a solution to what these people are facing.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

A major issue now is just getting relief supplies to the most affected areas. With the major expressways closed now and the JR West San'yo Main Line not fully operational until circa middle August 2018, it will be difficult to get relief supplies into Hiroshima and Okayama Prefectures. Even deliveries by sea isn't of much help when much of the ground transportation is not usable.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

More breaks more water is all takes. I work at an airport and in summer it’s what we do. Temperature in summer often exceeds 50deg C on the tarmac, in and around aircraft it can exceed 60deg C.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Hold registration for volunteers at 5am. Let them work until noon. Using lights and doing it after dark is another option. 5am would would be 6 or 7am if Japan had a sensible system of summertime.

I have experience of a post-disaster volunteer system and it was register at 9, get transported 9:30-10, work 10-12 and 1 to 3, then get transported back to sign off.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Those fingernails of the female volunteer in the photo appear entirely impractical for volunteer work.

It's not a joke. Study, plan, and prepare appropriately.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Hmmm, that's a nice shot (photo) of a volunteer.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Welcome to World Climate Change.

Change and prepare now or face the agony of death and illness

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It's wonderful that so many want to volunteer, but when volunteers start becoming casualties they become part of the problem. The cities either need to turn non-professionals away or else be adequately prepared to deal with incoming volunteers so that heatstroke does not happen, or that there are adequate measures to deal with any problems. Sometimes volunteers -- involuntarily of course -- can cause more trouble than they can remedy.

And I agree with the tree thing -- but TIJ, it'll never happen. The government seems to think cement and power lines qualify as shade.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I am very sorry Japan has been suffering with natural disasters one after another. My prayers and thoughts are with you in the time of crisis. By the way, let's take care of these who are dealing with the heat stroke because the heat stroke can be fatal sometime. Drink up water and move under the shade. For others living other area, the listed below is a good read.

Harvard study: Heat slows down the brain by 13%

July 11, 2018 by NED DYMOKE

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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