18 dead and many missing in Fukuoka and Oita after days of rain
It has been raining continuously for days in Southern Japan. This has caused flooding and landslides, and lead to serious damage especially in Fukuoka and Oita prefectures in Northern parts of Kyushu island since 5th of June.
According to the latest information, 18 have dead and some people are still missing, making it impossible to confirm their safety. More than 500,000 people had to leave their homes to evacuate.
The rain was the hardest on Wednesday 5th of June when parts of Fukuoka prefecture were hit by 775 millimeters of rain at most. This is around two times the amount that normally falls in the area in 1 month in July, and is something that has never recorded to have happened before in the area.
While the highest alert status has currently been lifted, some areas of the two prefectures are still in critical state. Many have lost their homes because of the floods and have no choice but to stay in evacuation centers. The critical 72 hours have passed since the damages of the disaster started. After 72 hours, the chances of the people in critical state surviving will drop critically. Japan Self-Defense Forces, Fire Department, Police and volunteers are doing their best to find and save remaining residents as fast as possible.
One of the reasons for the serious damage and the number of lives lost is the fact that the rain hit rural areas causing rivers to flood suddenly. Many of the residents in the areas are older people who can’t easily evacuate without help. However, there are also younger people in the victims of the disaster. In Fukuoka’s Asakura-shi, landslide caused a young woman, Etou Yukari (26) along with his 1-year-old son and mother (63) to lose their lives. Etou Yukari was waiting for her second child and was staying at her family home temporarily, waiting for the delivery of the baby.
Although this disaster has been taken up in the news significantly less than Sendai’s earthquake and tsunami disaster in 2011 for example, it’s a serious disaster. Although the losses are smaller that in tsunami disaster, the tragedy can’t be measured in numbers. These floods have affected the lives of thousands and will continue to affect them for years from now on. While there was no earthquake or tsunami, landslides and floods have caused irreplaceable damages to Fukuoka and Oita prefectures.
— ＮＨＫ生活・防災 (@nhk_seikatsu) July 8, 2017
You can see the state of the disaster area in 360 degrees by clicking the picture link in the above tweet.
What has happened and is still happening at this moment in Fukuoka and Oita is a terrible, sad tragedy. I don’t have words for my feelings. It’s just too sad that something like this has to happen.
The scariest thing is that tomorrow will most probably be another rainy day for Kyushu island. According to Japan’s weather bureau, it’s highly likely that some areas of the island will be hit by a heavy rain starting in the night today. I really hope there won’t be any more victims.