Death toll climbs in severe monsoon season in China and Japa
There have been over 100 deaths in Asia this month as the vast region experiences an intense monsoon season.
Many countries, including India, China, and Japan, have experienced extreme rain over the past fortnight, causing flooding and landslides.
As a result, hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to evacuate.
South Korea was on high alert on Friday as a storm battered the capital Seoul, while in the Philippines, officials warned of a tropical cyclone.
Earlier this week, Japan reported record-breaking floods on the island of Kyushu, which killed at least eight people, including a local politician. Several others remain unaccounted for.
“It’s raining like never before,” a spokesman for Japan’s meteorological agency said, as cities across the country registered record rainfall.
There has been an increase in floods worldwide due to climate change, according to scientists. As a result of extreme weather, many countries are struggling to mitigate its dangers.
World Meteorological Organization’s director of hydrology, water, and cryosphere said Japan is “extremely alert, as well as well prepared.”
Stefan Uhlenbrook added on Thursday that many low-income countries have no warning systems, hardly any flood defences, and no integrated flood management.
Earlier in the week, Japanese authorities evacuated more than 420,000 residents from two prefectures on Kyushu.
In the orders, it was written, “Your life is in danger, you need to act immediately.”.
There were power outages in 4,000 households in Seoul as torrential rain hit the South Korean capital early Friday, evacuating 135 people.
During an emergency meeting with government agencies, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said the top priority for the country was to prevent deaths.
“All public officials must remain alert and respond until the monsoon is over,” Han told local media.
As a result of heavy rains in the country, he also warned officials to “thoroughly prepare” for the possibility of North Korea releasing water from a dam near the inter-Korean border.
Historically, such releases have often occurred without notice and resulted in flooding and deaths.