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AT LEAST 176 people have now been killed by widespread flooding and severe mudslides in Japan, following “historic” heavy rain.
Tens of thousands of rescue and recovery workers and volunteers are searching for people still missing, with the government having mobilised 75,000 troops.
In areas where search-and-rescue operations have ended, construction workers and residents toiled to clear mud and debris, restore vehicle access and bring in and food and other supplies.
In Hiroshima’s Asakita ward, resident Nobuaki Hyuga said local shops had run out of essentials and the roads were blocked.
Construction worker Fukuyoshi Doi volunteered to clear the roads and supervised other volunteers who had gathered to help.
“Mud and dirt is still blocking our local bus route, so we are trying to get that out of the way, so the road can be reopened for buses and cars,” he said. “Once we get the mud out, I believe the rest of the work would pick up.”
The government said 176 people had been confirmed dead after last week’s record rainfall caused severe flooding and landslides. Most of the deaths were in Hiroshima and the surrounding area, but the damage was widespread.
Thousands of homes were still without clean water and electricity. Residents lined up for water under a scorching sun as temperatures rose to 35°C.
Climate scientists expressed dismay at the destruction, with renowned expert Michael Mann warning: “The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle. We are seeing them play out in real time.”
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