Floodwaters Reach 4.3 Meters in Downpour-Hit Japan City

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, July 8 (Jiji Press)--Floodwaters from a swollen river amid torrential rains in Japan's Kyushu southwestern region have reached as high as 4.3 meters in the city center of Hitoyoshi, Kumamoto Prefecture, a survey revealed Wednesday.

This was "one of the worst flood damage," Kumamoto University associate professor Kei Ishida said. In the city of Hitoyoshi, 18 people died in disasters caused by the downpours.

According to the university's Center for Water Cycle, Marine Environment and Disaster Management, which conducted the survey, the maximum inundation height was confirmed at a point on the right bank of the Kuma River, close to its confluence with a tributary.

A utility pole near a shrine located close to the point has flood marks, showing that floodwaters reached a height of 2.1 meters in 1965 and 1.1 meters in 1971. The latest flooding was more than double the height in 1965, reaching the second floor of a house.

The seasonal rain front that caused downpours in Kyushu since the weekend brought heavy rains to wide areas in western and eastern Japan on Wednesday morning. A total of 58 deaths have been confirmed due to the heavy rains, while 16 people, including 10 in Kumamoto and one each in the city of Minamisatsuma in Kagoshima Prefecture and the city of Hita in Oita Prefecture, both in Kyushu, are unaccounted for.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press