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SHAKE AND BLOW
4 killed, 6 missing in India's Gujarat amid monsoon floods
by Staff Writers
Ahmedabad, India (AFP) July 16, 2017


Japan flood death toll rises to 30
Tokyo (AFP) July 13, 2017 - The death toll from heavy rains and flooding in Japan's south has risen to 30, officials said Thursday, while rescue workers continued their efforts to find survivors.

Heavy seasonal rains last week caused severe flooding that tore up roads and destroyed houses on the southern island of Kyushu, with hundreds of thousands of people forced to flee their homes.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cancelled a visit to Estonia that was originally planned as the last leg of a European tour, flying to the region Wednesday to view the damage and console residents.

The government of the island's Fukuoka prefecture said it had identified the body of a resident from hardest-hit Asakura city, bringing the death toll from that region alone to 24.

A week after the disaster began, hundreds of people were still staying in school gymnasiums and public buildings used as makeshift shelters.

Thousands of police, soldiers and rescue workers are searching for 19 people who remain unaccounted for, according to local officials.

Heavy monsoon flooding has killed four people in western India, officials said Sunday, with grave fears held for at least six others still missing following torrential downpours.

Major rail networks and dozens of highways in Gujarat state have been interrupted by floodwaters, and power to more than 120 villages cut in badly-hit areas.

"Four people died after being swept away in rain waters since Saturday morning. Six others are missing", Pankaj Kumar, a senior state government official, told AFP, adding the National Disaster Response Force was searching for survivors.

The force, plus India's military, had rescued more than 2,000 people from the worst-hit regions and relocated them to higher ground.

The Indian Meteorological Department predicts heavy rain to batter the state for another two days, especially in coastal areas, the department's Manorama Mohanty told AFP.

Monsoon rains have caused serious flooding in other states including Bihar in the east and Assam and Arunachal Pradesh in India's remote northeast.

The latter two states are enduring their worst floods and landslides in years amid more than a week of incessant rain.

Nearly half a million people in Assam have been affected, and more than two dozens killed in the downpours.

India's junior home minister Kiren Rijiju posted on Twitter from Arunachal Pradesh on Saturday that funding for medicines and relief efforts had been released to assist those struggling in the aftermath of the disaster.

Japan Abe sees devastation in flood-hit area
Tokyo (AFP) July 12, 2017 - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday visited southern regions devastated by torrential rains and flooding that killed two dozen people as the toll was likely to rise.

Heavy seasonal rains last week caused severe flooding that tore up roads and destroyed houses on Japan's southernmost island of Kyushu, with hundreds of thousands of people forced to flee their homes.

At least 25 people have been confirmed dead while more than 20 were still missing on Wednesday.

A week after the disaster began, hundreds of people were still staying in school gymnasiums and public buildings used as makeshift shelters.

More than 10,000 rescuers, including soldiers, battled through thick mud with little hope of finding survivors.

Public broadcaster NHK showed footage of rescuers shoveling mud and removing washed up driftwood from what seemed to be roads and farm fields.

Abe, who cancelled a visit to Estonia that was originally planned as the last leg of a European tour, flew to the region to view the damage and console residents.

He was shown on television walking along a river bank near a broken bridge and visiting a shelter in Oita prefecture.

Clad in blue work clothing, Abe told evacuees in a shelter that the government was working to restore the region.

Abe later met with Oita prefecture governor Katsusada Hirose, Kyodo News reported.

"I was once again reminded of the severe level of damage after seeing with my own eyes the sites hit by torrential rain and mudslides," Abe told Hirose, pledging that the central government will work "to improve conditions at evacuation centres and secure housing".

SHAKE AND BLOW
Japan Abe sees devastation in flood-hit area
Tokyo (AFP) July 12, 2017
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday visited southern regions devastated by torrential rains and flooding that killed two dozen people as the toll was likely to rise. Heavy seasonal rains last week caused severe flooding that tore up roads and destroyed houses on Japan's southernmost island of Kyushu, with hundreds of thousands of people forced to flee their homes. At least 25 ... read more

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