Tuesday, May 21

5 still missing, 530 displaced one month after Kyushu’s deadly rain


Huge floods engulfing parts of southern Japan have left hundreds stranded. AFP file photo


TOKYO: Five people were still unaccounted for and over 530 lived as refugees one month after heavy rain plummeted Japan’s Kyushu main island and caused 36 fatalities in early July, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.

Search operations continued for the five missing people in the city of Asakura in Fukuoka prefecture, one of the areas hit hardest by the torrential rain, with 30 local police deployed for the mission, according to local authorities.

The devastating torrential rain that lasted for several days from July 5 has caused extensive flooding and mudslides in Fukuoka prefecture and neighbouring Oita prefecture, displacing more than 2,000 people at one point.

Some 530 people were still living as refugees, as the disaster has destroyed over 300 houses and caused damage to more than 2,300 residences.

Local governments said that damage caused by the disaster was estimated at around 120 billion yen (US$1.1 billion) in Fukuoka prefecture and 29 billion yen in Oita prefecture and the numbers could rise further as the investigation goes on.

Japan’s top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said Friday that the government is to decide whether to designate the deadly rain as a “disaster of extreme severity” at a cabinet meeting on Aug 8.

The designation will increase subsidies for rebuilding infrastructure and supporting affected businesses in the municipalities hardest hit by the rains in the Kyushu area.

Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), however, warned on Saturday that the rain-hit areas may be on alert for secondary disasters as Typhoon Noru is approaching southwestern Japan and could make landfall on Sunday.  – Bernama