The Daily Manila Shimbun


Cleanup Work Huge Burden for Locals in Flood-Hit Areas

July 12, 2018

Okayama- Amid the heat of the summer, local residents in the Mabi district of Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, were busy removing mud-spattered furniture and other household items from their homes in the wake of a flood caused by downpours.

A 58-year-old resident of the city of Okayama looked worn out after helping his mother-in-law clean out her house in Mabi, which was inundated after the embankment of a river collapsed on Saturday. In the torrential rain through the weekend, dozens of people lost their lives in the district.

"Even with the help of four others, the work was into its third day with little progress," he said.

Traffic blocked the road in front of the house as local residents began to head back to the evacuation centers after cleaning up their houses.

"The heavy traffic jam has made it difficult for us to take the furniture to a disposal facility," he complained.

Another resident said going to the city hall to get a disaster victim's certificate is not an easy task.

Flooded areas saw heavier traffic congestion after the water receded due to an increase in the number of large vehicles for reconstruction work. Bulky items of trash placed at roadsides have also hampered traffic.

As clearance work progresses, the amount of trash will increase.

"It's tough for the elderly," a 76-year-old Mabi resident said, after failing to bring all disaster refuse to a trash concentration site with five visits.

At a house whose first floor had been entirely submerged under water, a resident said: "It's impossible to go inside the room due to fallen furniture. I have no way but to clear things before me bit by bit." Jiji Press