Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Japan rescuers battle to reach thousands trapped by floods




Japan rescuers battle to reach thousands trapped by floods

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A man sits outside the house of his aunt, who died from flooding of the Kuma river to torrential rains, in Yatsushiro city, Kumanoto preference on Wednesday. AFP

Japan rescuers battle to reach thousands trapped by floods

Japanese emergency services and troops scrambled on Thursday to reach thousands of homes cut off by catastrophic flooding and landslides that have killed dozens and caused widespread damage.

Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency said rising floodwater or roads damaged by landslides had blocked access to more than 3,000 households, mostly in the hardest-hit southwestern region of Kumamoto where fresh downpours were forecast.

An AFP reporter in the cut-off village of Kuma saw parts of the road collapsed into the river and scenes of devastation in flood-affected houses.

In one home, an elderly man was struggling to clear up the debris and furniture littering the mud-caked floor, his traditional straw tatami mats in one room ruined.

The rain front started in the southwest in the early hours of Saturday and has since cut a swathe of destruction across Japan, dumping record amounts of rain and causing swollen rivers to break their banks.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) said: “Heavy rain will likely continue at least until July 12 in a wide area” of the country, calling for “extreme vigilance” on landslide risks and flooding in low-lying areas.

The JMA issued its second-highest evacuation order to more than 450,000 people. However, such orders are not compulsory and most residents are choosing not to go to shelters, possibly due to coronavirus fears.

The death toll has climbed gradually as more victims are discovered in isolated areas.

Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters that 58 people had been confirmed dead, with a further four feared to have lost their lives.

The four were later confirmed to have died, bringing the death toll to 62.

Suga said authorities were investigating whether four other deaths were linked to the floods, adding that 17 people were missing and a dozen injured.

After five days blocked by floodwater and landslides, troops finally managed to rescue some 40 residents in the village of Ashikita in Kumamoto region.

Kinuyo Nakamura, 68, burst into tears of relief as she finally made it to an evacuation centre.

“We have experienced flooding disasters in the past many times. But this one doesn’t compare,” she told public broadcaster NHK.

Nakamura choked up as she explained that one of her neighbours had fallen victim to the floods.

“A truly, truly, fantastic person,” she said, covering her face to hide the tears. “That was the hardest thing.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • Bill covering dress code draws ire

    Ministry of Interior secretary of state Ouk Kim Lek responded on Tuesday to criticism concerning a draft law that would ban women from wearing overly revealing clothing, saying that input from all parties will be considered as the law moves through the promulgation process. Several

  • What’s the deal with Cambodia and China’s FTA?

    Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China kicks off a series of FTAs in future but for now, critics wonder what else the parties could bring to the table apart from what it already has to date By the end of this year, Cambodia

  • Police arrest 29 Chinese for PP kidnapping

    Phnom Penh Military Police arrested 29 Chinese nationals on kidnapping charges on Wednesday. The suspects are said to have abducted three other Chinese nationals from a hotel in Chaktomuk commune, Daun Penh district. The operation took place on Wednesday and was led by two deputy commanders –