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Monday, August 25, 2014

Hiroshima Landslide Kills 50

Fifty people are confirmed dead and another 38 people still unaccounted for after a landslide in Hiroshima-ken caused by heavy rains on August 19, 2014 triggered the disaster.

Apparently dozens of houses were either buried or swept off foundations as water, rock and mud flowed down hillsides into heavily-populated valleys in the northern part of Hiroshima-city.

Police and rescue workers continue the task of looking for people, but after four days, the outlook appears grim. Plus... heavy rainfall in the area continues to worry searchers about the possibility of further landslides.

The heavy rainfall even stymied Japan prime minster Abe Shinzo (surname first) from his planed tour of the devastation by helicopter.

In a situation highly reminiscent of US President George W. Bush continuing to read to an elementary class after first being informed of the 9/11 terrorist plot with planes flying into the World Trade Center in New York, so too has prime minister Abe come under for fire by his political opposition a(and the media) for continuing his golf game for an hour after being informed of the disaster.

Despite having a degree in political science, I don't cotton much to American, Japanese or even Canadian politics. I have too many skeletons myself.

Regardless... before everyone condemns Abe (and Bush), we need to know exactly what was told to him when he was informed during the golf game. Was the severity of the situation explained? I doubt that. But maybe it was. Perhaps he was also told to not worry about anything, and if the situation becomes more dire, then he can act.

All I'm saying is you can't judge his actions until you find out exactly what he was told.

Right now, there are about 1,700 people in emergency shelters, and for some 164,000 residents, the city government of Hiroshima has issued evacuation orders and warning to residents about possible landslide activity.

Landslides have killed many people in Japan over the years--as recently as 1999, some 31 people were killed in Hiroshima alone.

Andrew Joseph

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