More Than 100 People Killed and Millions Forced To Flee Due To Historic Floods in Japan
According to the Guardian on Monday, more than 100 people have died in Japan due to historic floods that swept through the country, forcing millions to flee from the country.
The floods were caused as a result of heavy rainfall that hasn’t been recorded in decades. However, it is important to note that some areas in western Japan saw three times regular rainfall since Thursday, BBC News reported.
A weather official stated to BBC News that, “We’ve never experienced this kind of rain before.”
The death toll is currently at 109 and not only that, the floods have caused destructions in many areas of the country especially Hiroshima and other areas making it difficult for government officials in the country to have access to the damage and the number of casualties.
However, some reports have found out that about 90 people have gone missing, while Japan’s public broadcaster NHK puts the number of missing people at 79.
The Guardian Report which tagged the incident has the worst in weather disaster in history since 2011 was in accordance to government’s prediction for the impacts of climate change on Japan.
According to a report that was released in 2012 it was predicted that the effect of climate change could escalate more than before causing drastic floods and landslide disaster in the country.
“The record rainfalls in various parts of the country have caused rivers to burst their banks, and triggered large-scale floods and landslides in several areas,” this was the statement of Yoshihide, Chief Cabinet Secretary to CNN Sunday.
Moving forward, an individual named Naoki Ogawa, a 69-year old woman told BBC News how the landslide tapped him in his vehicle.
“I turned the car to the right, saw another wave of mud…sweep away three cars that were in front of me. I have lived here for more than 20 years, but there has never been something like this before. I was so scared,” he said to BBC News.
Immediately the rains fell on the country, the country’s rescue mission kicked off their search for the affected victims.
However, as a result of the disaster that occurred in the country, the prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe called-off his trip to France, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt and he dispatched more than 70,000 workers to help in the rescue mission of the affected victims.
The prime minister said relief personnel was “working against time,” according to BBC News. “There are still many people missing and others in need of help,” he also added.
One of such people in that category was Shigeyuki Asano, a 79-year-old patient who was one of 170 people that were evacuated from the hospital balcony in Kurashiki via paddle boat Sunday, according to The Guardian.
However, Shigeyuki stated to The Guardian, “I am really grateful to the rescuers. I feel so relieved that I’ve been freed from such a bad-smelling, dark place.”
TV footage across the affected regions showcased rivers that had burst out of their banks and submerged vehicles and homes destroyed by a landslide.
The drastic rainfall in the country was the worst weather-related disaster in Japan since two typhoons struck killing almost 100 people.
Also, more than 30,000 people have been taking refuge at emergency centers on Sunday afternoon, but the Japanese government has promised to rehouse these people in a private or public housing.
It is important to also note that the country’s metrological agency has described the present predicament as extreme and warned of further landslides in the country.
Young victims including two sisters who attended primary school with just 6 pupils in the sparsely populated island of Nuwa were also affected by the disaster. However, the principal of the school said, “The disaster happened so suddenly, I am struggling to come to terms with it.” Sadly, a rescue team on the scene of the incident found the body of a three-year-old girl whose home has been affected by the landslide.
It is also necessary to know that more than a thousand homes have been destroyed and left 17,000 homes without electricity, CNN also reported.
Furthermore, there are further concerns that a heat wave could endanger the lives of people without power in their homes.
“We cannot take baths, the toilet doesn’t work and our food stockpile is running low,” said Yumeko Matsui to The Guardian.
The disaster has also affected companies with plants in Western Japan. Car makers, Mazda and Daihatsu stated that they have halted operations at the factories in three areas due to the fact that they were unable to procure parts.
Even though the recent floods were historic, they are part of a pattern in increased heavy rainfall that is linked to climate change.
The 2012 government study, Climate Change and its Impacts in Japan, have that the number of days with one millimeter or more of rain have decreased while the number of days with 100 millimeters or more of rain had increased.