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Japan: ‘Unprecedented’ rains trigger evacuation in Hiroshima

Japanese officials warned that a “grave disaster” may occur as heavy downpour continues. Nearly 70,000 people were asked to evacuate in the Hiroshima prefecture.

At least one person died and tens of thousands of people were told to evacuate as “unprecedented” levels of torrential rain hit western Japan on Friday, authorities said.

Aug 13, 2021: The Japan Meteorological Agency is warning people over wide regions of the country to practice vigilance amid heavy rainfalls.

“There is a possibility that a grave disaster will occur” in the coming days, a Japan Meteorological Agency official said.

The rainfall triggered a mudslide in the city of Unzen in Nagasaki early Friday that swallowed two houses with four residents and threatened to cause flooding and more landslides in the region.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said one person was presumed dead, while another was able to talk as rescue workers tried to free them. Two others remain missing.

Highest risk alerts in Hiroshima

The heaviest rainfall was in the western prefecture of Hiroshima, where non-compulsory evacuation orders were issued to at least 69,500 people.

Aug 21, 2020: A panel of experts at the Japan Meteorological Agency say global warming is contributing to torrential rain, flooding and heat waves in the country.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued the highest level 5 risk alerts in Hiroshima, adding that downpours are forecast to continue for several days over a large swathe of the country.

“We have issued a special heavy rain warning (in the city of Hiroshima). This is a level of heavy rain that we have never experienced before,” the JMA said in a statement.

The land ministry warned that water levels are extremely high in three rivers — two of which run through the Hiroshima region, while one in southern Kumamoto.

The NHK public broadcaster showed rivers in Hiroshima swollen with muddy water gushing down, almost overflowing. Meanwhile, water pumps were seen draining the swollen river water in the western prefecture of Fukuoka.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s office set up a disaster control center on Friday to handle potential disasters. “Torrential rains could continue in regions around western Japan,” Suga said.

The news of the devastation in Japan comes as officials in neighboring China report at least 21 casualties in its central Hubei province. Extreme rainfall has wreaked havoc and killed hundreds of people in the region. 

More than 300 people were killed in central China last month after record downpours dumped a year’s worth of rain on a city in three days.


Published by amongthefray

News with a historical perspective. Fighting against misinformation, hate, and revisionist history.

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