They are digging through mud and boulders: More than 50,000 helpers are in action, according to the Japanese government, to search for injured and trapped people after the heavy storms in the west of the country. Dozens of people would still be missing, a spokesman said.
The government assumes at least a hundred deaths. It is feared that the number of victims continues to rise. The weather authority warned of new heavy rainfall and muddy floods. The situation is “extremely dangerous”. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the helpers worked against time.
The rain, which had been going on for days, had flooded numerous streets, turned entire cities into seascapes, and caused violent landslides. Rivers rose over their banks. Hundreds of thousands of Japanese reportedly left because of the water masses their homes. Others had to save themselves on roofs of buildings. Cars were washed away or buried under mud.
Flooding in Japan:
On Monday morning, rains in the most severely affected areas in the west and in central Japan slowed down for the time being. There, entire villages had been flooded or hit by landslides. The weather service lowered the alert level initially, but the authorities warned of the risk of further landslides through the rain-soaked ground.