Millions evacuated after widespread floods in Japan

18 September 2015


Evacuation: rescue crews take people to safety in the flooded eastern Japanese city of Joso

Evacuation: rescue crews take people to safety in the flooded eastern Japanese city of Joso

THE number of people killed in the torrential rain that caused flooding across parts of Japan last week is confirmed at seven, and police report that all those thought to be missing in the aftermath of the floods have now been found.

Nearly three million people were evacuated from their homes by rising water, after a tropical storm swept across the centre of Japan’s main island, Honshu. Worst affected was the city of Joso, 37 miles from Tokyo, where the river broke its banks and 16 square miles of land was flooded.

The Mayor of Joso, Toru Takasugi, later apologised for not evacuating residents earlier. Many had been forced to climb on the roof of their homes, holding children and pets, waiting hours for rescue helicopters to find them.

More than 2600 people were still staying in evacuation centres, the Japanese authorities reported on Wednesday, as the flood water slowly drained away. About 12,000 homes are believed to have been under water.

The floods also swept away bags of radioactive waste from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, which was hit by a tsunami in 2011 (News, 25 March 2011).

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