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Japan floods, mudslides kill at least 44 as streets turn to rivers

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Japan floods, mudslides kill at least 44 as streets turn to rivers

By Sakura Murakami

 

2020-07-06T104230Z_1_LYNXMPEG650MX_RTROPTP_4_JAPAN-FLOODS.JPG

People watch the swollen Kuma River after torrential rain in Kuma town, Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan in this photo taken by Kyodo, on July 6, 2020. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

 

TOKYO (Reuters) - Torrential rain hit Japan's southwestern island of Kyushu on Monday, with at least one more river bursting its banks, as the death toll from three days of floods and mudslides rose to 44, including 14 at an old people's home.

 

Evacuation orders were issued for more than half a million island residents, as well as evacuation advisories for tens of thousands more in western Japan, broadcaster NHK said.

 

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the rain was forecast to head east by Wednesday and ordered round-the-clock search and rescue operations. Ten people were missing, NHK said.

 

TV pictures showed streets turned into rivers rushing by at waist high, a collapsed bridge, upturned cars and a helicopter winching a man to safety from an inundated house.

 

The old people's home was flooded in the island's central prefecture of Kumamoto. NHK did not give details.

 

"I urge all citizens to carefully follow the information provided by local authorities and stay alert to take actions to protect their own lives," Abe said at the start of a government task force meeting.

 

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said 40,000 members of the Self-Defence Force were involved in rescue missions.

 

He added that evacuation centres were also working on preventing the spread of the coronavirus by distributing disinfectant and asking evacuees to self-distance.

 

The floods are Japan's worst natural disaster since Typhoon Hagibis killed about 90 people in October.

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-07-06
 
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It seems that flash flooding on this island has occurred often in the past. The following study of the risk assessment and how to manage it, dates January 2018.

 

"Using advanced geospatial analysis technologies, flash flood risk is assessed for the island of Kyushu, Japan.
The island experiences rainy weather, especially in the summer (June–August), when catastrophic flash flood events have historically occurred."

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322684802_Flash_Flood_Risk_Assessment_for_Kyushu_Island_Japan

 

What appears to be an even worse flood than the current one, occurred in 1953. The flood control measures implemented after that major flood were obviously not sufficient. Don't blame Climate Change.

 

"The 1953 North Kyushu flood was a flood which hit Northern Kyushu, Japan (Fukuoka Prefecture, Saga Prefecture, Kumamoto Prefecture and Ōita Prefecture) in June 1953.
 

The flood was a major disaster with 1,001 people dead or missing, 450,000 houses flooded, and about 1 million people affected. Due to the severity of the disaster, flood control measures along rivers in Northern Kyushu were fundamentally revised, with many of the changes still in place."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1953_North_Kyushu_flood
 

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This is where being an Island is a disadvantage in being unable to open a dam and flood another country down line

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3 minutes ago, RichardColeman said:

This is where being an Island is a disadvantage in being unable to open a dam and flood another country down line

I suppose they could open a conduit and syphon off all the excess water into North Korea.  

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