Torrential rains, flash floods kill nearly 200 in Japan, UN offers assistance

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Atleast 200 people have been killed in landslides and flash floods caused by torrential rains in Japan from the past few days. This is the worst flooding disaster in last 36 years. Most of the people who have died are from the Hiroshima and Okayama prefectures.

Over the weekend, some parts of Japan received between 300 to 500 millimetres (12 to 20 inches) of rain forcing millions of people to flee their homes.

Yoshihide Suga, Japanese chief cabinet secretary reportedly said, “42 people were unaccounted for, while two persons were confirmed missing.”

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited an evacuation centre in the city of Kurashiki in Okayama prefecture on July 11 where nearly 200 people have taken refuge. In the centre more than 40 of the 200 confirmed victims died.

“We’ll cut through all the bureaucracy to secure the goods people need for their lives, to improve life in the evacuation centres — such as air-conditioners as the hot days continue — and then secure temporary housing and the other things people need to rebuild their lives,” PM Abe said.

The United Nations said secretary-general Antonio Guterres had written to PM Abe offering UN support in the clean-up operations.

UN also expressed condolences for the loss of life and destruction in Japan.

The Japanese PM also visited Kurashiki and met with the Okayama governor.

Nearly 75,000 responders have been deployed for search and rescue operations in the affected areas and near about 17,000 households are still without power, and phone lines are down across multiple prefectures.