Downpours Take Lives, Leave Damage in Kumamoto Pref.

Society Lifestyle

Kumamoto, July 8 (Jiji Press)--River overflows and inundations caused by torrential rains in the southwestern Japan prefecture of Kumamoto over the weekend have led to many lost lives and homes, leaving residents mired in deep grief and confusion.

Keisuke Masuda, a 67-year-old resident of the Shimosatsumaze district in the city of Hitoyoshi in the prefecture, said he vividly remembers one of his neighbors being swept away by the tide of water overflowing from the Kuma River.

“He was swept away right before my eyes,” Masuda said at an evacuation center on Tuesday. “I was overcome with a sense of helplessness.”

The neighbor, 81-year-old Saburo Inoue, died after being engulfed in muddy water on Saturday.

The area had been struck by heavy rains since the night before, and the water level of the Kuma River quickly rose on Saturday morning. By the time Masuda emerged from his home, the brown water that had spilled from the river reached his knees. He struggled just to walk 10 meters.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press