Severe weather in Japan: “It happened in just half an hour”


In Japan, after the heavy rains, several regions are still flooded. More than 50 people died, some are still missing. New rain is announced.

By Kathrin Erdmann, ARD Studio Tokyo

It’s rainy season in Japan, people know it. But so much and so strong – that was too much. On the southern island of Kyushu, the rain not only caused rivers to swell quickly, it also caused numerous landslides. Many roads are impassable, also because there are large holes in the concrete.

Around 80,000 police officers, firefighters and the coast guard are on duty – among other things to look for missing persons, says cabinet secretary of state Yoshihide Suga in stormy but still dry Tokyo.

People save themselves on the roof

Akira Tayama lives with her wife and mother in Kumamoto, one of the worst-affected regions. He had to get the family to safety very quickly, he says on TV station TBS: “Everything happened within half an hour. My mother was still in the kitchen. The water level rose and rose and reached her chest. I have then forced them to come up on the roof. “

TV pictures from the region show how people persevere on their roofs and wait for help. With rubber dinghies and rowing boats, helpers try to save people from the floods.

Many old people among the victims

But help doesn’t always come in time. Among the victims so far are many old people – including Naomi Nishimuras parents, 85 and 82 years old. “The neighbors had told them to flee, but my mother didn’t want to,” she says, crying. “You must have been waiting for me because I said that I would be back soon. If I had come back sooner.”

Whole regions are still under water. The heavy rain swept away trees and covered houses. Where the water is gone is chaos. Furniture is criss-crossed in houses, much has been destroyed and the floor is covered with a layer of brown mud.

Storms are becoming more common

Kentaro Hayashi is in the commercial kitchen of a traditional Japanese hotel. The water reaches up to the calves. The hotel was closed for months because of Corona. Now the storm came. The director of building management is frustrated: “We only reopened on July 1st. Every time it says: Such a storm only comes every ten years. But in fact it happens almost every year. It is difficult to run the business like this.”

Last year, heavy rain had flooded several regions on the Japanese island. In the meantime, the rain area continues to move north – in central Japan, some towns are cut off from the outside world because the access roads are blocked by landslides. In several areas there is also no electricity or telephone.

Deutschlandfunk reported on this topic on 07 July 2020 at 05:57 a.m.

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