Rescuers in Japan are racing to find survivors among what has been the deadliest flood toll in the country since 2004. Following several days of heavy rainfall that catalyzed great floods and landslides, Japanese media reports that at least 94 individuals have been killed while at least 58 others are unaccounted for.
“We’ve never experienced this kind of rain before,” a weather official said.
Beginning Thursday, parts of Western Japan received nearly three times the usual amount of rainfall for the entire month of July. While the rains have calmed down, the downpour leaves behind dangerous situations with rescuers having to airlift survivors to safety.
“There are still many people missing and others in need of help,” the prime minister told reporters on Sunday.
Monday, temperatures reached up to 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) while some 12,700 customers are without power and tens of thousands more are without water. While evacuation notices are no longer in effect, two million people are still being advised to keep away from their homes.
“We cannot take baths, the toilet doesn’t work, and our food stockpile is running low,” 23-year old nursery school worker Yumeko Matsui tells NBC. “Bottled water and bottled tea are all gone from convenience stores and other shops.”
At the moment a team of 54,000 rescuers composed of members of the military, police and fire departments has been dispatched across the west and southwest of Japan.