Heavy rains and landslides in Japan have claimed many lives. Two TV women were found dead in a canal in Nagano province and later reported dead, Japanese television broadcaster NHK reported Sunday. A woman has previously died in a landslide in the southwestern main island of Kyushu in Nagasaki province. Her husband and daughter are missing.
Meanwhile, eight people have been rescued from a landslide in Nagano province. Three of them, including two children, were diagnosed with “heart attack and respiratory arrest”. This was a common phrase in Japan before human deaths were officially confirmed.
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A total of four people were reported missing by the broadcaster. Although it stopped raining in large parts of Kyushu on Sunday morning, officials continued to warn of the risk of flooding and landslides as a result of the softened soil.
A hospital in Saga province was submerged in plenty of water, but according to media reports, patients could be brought safely to higher ground. More than ten rivers in seven provinces have overflowed. All the streets in Saga were submerged. Rescue workers brought people to safety by boat.
In many provinces, three times as much normal rainfall is reported in a month. Authorities in Hiroshima and northern Kyushu have issued the heaviest evacuation warning following the weather service’s report of unprecedented rainfall. Public broadcaster NHK said 1.4 million people had been asked to leave their homes immediately.
Heavy rains also lashed the Tokyo region. There, officials warned of areas at risk of flooding through messages on loudspeakers and smartphones.
Heavy rain is also expected for the next few days. This and its effects are not uncommon in Japan. However, scientists believe that climate change significantly increases the risk of extreme weather conditions. As a result, landslides are more common on mountain islands. In July, a massive landslide in the central Japanese coastal city of Atom killed at least 21 people. It had rained heavily for several days before that. (dpa)
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