Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe promises to help flood victims as death toll up to 28

July 12, 2017 1:51 pm
Three more bodies have been found in southwest , potentially raising the death toll from last week’s heavy rains to 28, as Prime Minister visited the hardest-hit areas.
Two deaths have been confirmed, and a third body is still under investigation, Fukuoka prefecture’s Department of Disaster Management said on Wednesday.
Abe, who cut short a trip in Europe, inspected a collapsed railway bridge in Hita city in Oita prefecture and was also going to neighboring Fukuoka, where the latest deaths were confirmed.
“I was able to talk with people in evacuation centers and hear their worries and troubles,” said Abe. “The government will make every effort to rebuild so that people can resume their former lives without worries.”
The disaster agency says about 13,000 people, mostly in Fukuoka, are still staying in shelters.

A resident walks across a damaged bridge in a flooded area in Asakura city, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, on July 11, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Abe had been visiting European leaders after attending the G20 summit in Germany. He canceled a visit to Estonia, the last leg of his European trip, and returned to Japan one day earlier than planned.
He returned Tuesday and held a meeting with relevant government ministers to discuss the destruction.
During his visit, Abe met with victims at evacuation sites and talked with officials working in the disaster-hit areas.
Torrential rain that began a week ago set off landslides and sent rivers surging over their banks on the southwestern island of Kyushu, at one point forcing more than 400,000 people from their homes.
About 11,000 soldiers, police and firefighters are combing through mud and piles of logs in the largely rural area, searching for the missing.
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