World
31.7.18

Japan Hit by Worst Floods in Decades

By 内閣官房内閣広報室 - kantei.go.jp – 平成30年7月豪雨災害対策特設ページ (Web Archive), CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=70978329

Torrential rain leading to immense flooding and threat to life has plagued the streets of Japan. In one of the country’s worst ever weather disasters, millions of civilians have been forced to flee their homes, resulting in many people missing and some even feared dead.

The death toll has been estimated at over 179 people after landslides and floods desecrated central and western regions. The death toll is one of the highest recorded in Japan since the devastating floods of 1982. The hardest hit area this time is Hiroshima. Much of the country’s power supply has been cut, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without a basic supply of water. It has been warned that survivors may now face further risk due to high temperatures and the lack of water. Relief goods and transportation routes have been severely disrupted.

Experts say that many homes in Japan were built in unsafe and ‘risky’ areas before the 2001 hazard maps were created and distributed. Though there were orders to evacuate, many were issued far too late or ignored and citizens did not know how to get to safety. As Japan is densely populated, it is often difficult for residents to know where to go in order to escape global disasters.

Many weather and disaster experts warn that extensive rainfall which results in disastrous events is becoming more and more regular, potentially due to the effects of global warming. Shinzo Abe, the country’s prime minister, has cancelled his overseas trip in order to monitor an emergency response. Prime minister Abe had intended to visit Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Belgium and France but had recently come under criticism because he was photographed dining with lawmakers as the rain intensified.

Global Seven News

Thomasina Jordan-Rhodes

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