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More 200 dead or missing, as historic rainfall leaves authorities in a state of confusion, Japan

More than 149 people have died and 59 are still missing 5 days after the onset of the worst rainfall Japan has seen in at least 35 years.


  • Record rainfall was recorded at 118 official observations posts in the 72 hours to Sunday, July 8. The city of Uwajima in Ehime Prefecture received 364 mm (14.3 inches) of rain between 05:00 and 07:00 local time Sunday, approximately 1.5 times the average monthly rainfall for July in just 2 hours. Many regions received three times their usual precipitation for the month of July.
  • The scale of the disaster is on the same level as that of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.
  • More than 73 000 rescuers were mobilized. Self-Defence Forces are still performing search and rescue operations and even though the rainfall event is now over, the death toll is expected to rise.
  • Authorities are reportedly still in a state of confusion and trying to asses what happened and who is to blame for one of the country’s worst flooding disasters in history.
  • The frequency of heavy rain-linked disasters is on the rise, and we are facing a world where the rules learned from your experiences no longer apply.
  • If there are still some of you who think the government will (or should or could) save you during events such as this one, take a look at what happened and think again.

Some 160 000 people were ordered or advised to evacuate on July 5 after the Japan Meteorological Agency issued warnings that record rainfall is expected across the country. Read more

Updated: July 11, 2018 — 1:11 pm
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