Home / World / Rescuers dig through mud, rubble for survivors after the floods in Japan killed over 100 people

Rescuers dig through mud, rubble for survivors after the floods in Japan killed over 100 people

MIHARA, Japan (Reuters) – Rescuers in West Japan dug through mud and debris on Monday searching for survivors after floods and landslides killing more than 100 people.

A helicopter flies over the city of Mabi, which was flooded by heavy rain in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, Japan. This photo was taken on July 9, 201
8 by Kyodo. Compulsory loan Kyodo / via REUTERS

Rain was spreading in the region Last week's rain hit the blue sky and scorching sun, pushing up temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius (86 ° F). This ignites fears of heat stroke in areas that are cut off from electricity or water.

"We can not take a bath, the toilet does not work and our food supply is tight," said Yumeko Matsui, whose home in the city of Mihara has been without water since Saturday.

"Bottled water and bottled tea have all disappeared from shops and other stores," said the 23-year-old kindergarten employee at an emergency water station.

Almost 13,000 customers had no electricity, electricity companies said on Monday, while hundreds of thousands had no water.

The death toll reached at least 109 after floods drove millions out of their homes, NHK National Television said, the highest number since 117 people in heavy rains in 1983. Among the dead was a nine-year-old boy.

"He always came to our house to play games and other things," a teenager told NHK. "It's very sad."

Another 79 were missing, NHK added.

Although the heavy rain was over, the authorities warned of sudden downpours and thunderstorms, as well as of the risk of further landslides on steep mountain slopes that were soaked during the weekend.

Industrial plants were hit as well, and Mazda Motor Corp said it was forced to close down its headquarters in Hiroshima on Monday.

The automaker, which shut down operations at several plants last week, said it will continue to halt at two plants by Tuesday as it can not receive any components even though both units are undamaged.

Daihatsu, who ceased production at up to four plants on Friday, said they would complete the second evening shift on Monday.

Electronics company Panasonic said factory operations are suspended after flooding the first floor.

A lorry stranded by flooding is pictured in Mabi in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, Japan on this photo of Kyodo on July 9, 2018. Mandatory Credit Kyodo / via REUTERS

Refineries and oil terminals were unaffected, but blockades on roads leading to a Showa Shell oil terminal in the city led to gas and diesel bottlenecks nearby.

Shares in some companies fell, but losses were modest, even gaining with Mazda as investors bet the damage was limited.

"When the rain affects supply chains, the affected shares are sold," said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment officer at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities. "Otherwise the influence will be limited."


Elsewhere, people through the grim task of recovery Soldier.

On a landslide in Hiroshima, destroyed wooden piles showed the locations of former houses, showed television pictures. Others had been turned upside down.

"Nobody heard from my neighbor," a man told NHK. "I hope you will find him again soon."

Slideshow (8 images)

Water in Kurashiki still covered most of the city, despite precipitous floods that paved the way to a hospital with nearly 100 patients, and the staff was stranded on Sunday.

Thousands flocked to evacuation centers in Mabi.

"No one has anything to wear, we need shirts, pants, underwear, socks and even shoes," Mayor Kaori Ito told Asahi Shimbun.

Although evacuation orders were withdrawn from the weekend, nearly 2 million people still face orders or advice to stay out of their homes, fire and disaster officials said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, to deal with the crisis, is scrapping a trip to Europe and the Middle East scheduled this week, the Kyodo news agency quoted a representative of the ruling party.

Economists said it was too early to assess the overall impact, but it was probably limited.

"Unusual weather patterns are a factor companies must consider when making economic predictions, but there is not much that can be done," said Koya Miyamae, senior economist at SMBC Nikko Securities.

Japan oversees weather conditions and issues early warnings, but its dense population means that every piece of usable land in the mostly mountainous nation is vulnerable to disasters.

Letter from Elaine Lies; Additional coverage by Elaine Lies, Shinichi Saoshiro, Naomi Tajitsu, Ayai Tomisawa and Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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