Home Foreign Thousands live in shelter after deadly rain disaster hit Western Japan

Thousands live in shelter after deadly rain disaster hit Western Japan

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Some 3,600 people are still living in evacuation shelters, one month after a severe rain disaster caused hundreds of deaths in Western Japan, authorities said on Monday.

According to the National Police Agency, the record rainfall that started on July 6 in western Japan and the subsequent flooding and landslides have left a total of 225 people dead.

Meanwhile, 11 people are still missing in the hardest-hit prefectures of Hiroshima, Okayama, Ehime and Osaka, according to a Kyodo News tally.

Local police, fire fighters and members of the Self-Defence Forces are continuing the search and rescue operations for the missing people.

The deadly rain disaster has caused severe damages to local economy and people’s life, as some 5,200 houses were destroyed and 8,700 others half-destroyed or damaged.

As of Sunday, more than 1,400 households in Ehime prefecture were still without water supply, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

Reconstruction work was in progress slowly amid the scorching heat across Japan, while many evacuees in disaster-hit areas were living in anxiety and despair.

According to a survey by Kyodo News between July 28 and July 31 in the disaster-hit areas in prefectures of Okayama, Hiroshima and Ehime, two-thirds of the respondents are facing serious financial difficulties.

The media organisation added that 42.7 percent of people said they knew little about public aid available to them.

A total of 65.8 percent of the surveyed residents said they had little hope of resuming normal life in the foreseeable future.

Over 50 percent of residents said they did not know if they could repair their homes.

The rain disaster has also caused 2.15 billion U.S. dollars in damage to the agricultural and fishery sectors, according to a recent estimation of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Japan top government spokesperson Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news briefing on Monday that the central government and local municipalities would work together to help the disaster-hit areas to return to normal.

The government decided to spend 948 million U.S. dollars from reserve funds to finance a package of measures, to help reconstruction in the rain-hit areas.

The package includes programme designed to speed up work by municipalities to remove disaster debris and sediment in the areas.

“We will implement the necessary measures with a sense of speed,’’ Suga said.

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