A 53-year-old firefighter was also killed during a rescue after being caught in a landslide. The Hiroshima Prefectural Government has requested the aid of the Ground Self-Defense Force for rescue operations. Rescue workers suspended by ropes from police helicopters extracted many victims from the rubble.
About 240 mm of rain fell in the area in the 24 hours up to this morning. This is level equivalent to a month’s worth of rain in a usual August, according to the Japanese Meteorological Agency. Houses turned in minutes into piles of twisted wreckage. Unfortunately, cities expanded in mountainous areas are vulnerable to such disasters. Fifteen years ago, six people wre killed in the same area. Prime minister Shinzo Abe cut short his summer vacation to head back to Tokyo. Official warnings were issued that the area could be hit by heavy rain again, potentially producing another disaster.