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NEWS

2020/07/09

【Kyushu Heavy Rain 2020 Floods Assistance】 Rescue Operations to Evacuate Stranded Victims

On July 8, an active seasonal rain front brought torrential downpours over northern Kyushu. The Chikugo River and Oita River in Oita Prefecture over flooded and the death toll in Kumamoto Prefecture reached 57 people. In Oita, five people are still missing. The rain disaster brought wide-spread damages to mountainous areas. Many areas are still stranded and waiting for assistance.

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Civic Force's joint emergency team, ARROWS (Airborne Rescue and Relief Operations With Search) dispatched their search-and-rescue (SAR) team when the sky was clear of rain. The team was able to reach isolated areas via helicopter and rescued stranded victims. ARROWS transferred twenty people including an infant and elderly people who were stranded in a community center to Kuma Athletic Park. One evacuee teared up when she saw ARROWS and said, "We were very worried." ARROWS also transferred an evacuee who required immediate medical attention to a nearby hospital and assisted patient-transfers led by DMAT (Disaster Medical Assistance Team) and the Kumamoto Pharmaceutical Association.

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Another team delivered emergency relief items to two evacuation centers in Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture on July 8. Kurume is one of the areas hit by floods. Over 230 evacuees were staying at an evacuation center set up in Kitano Lifelong Learning Center as of July 7. ARROWS delivered beddings, beverages, masks, and socks which were donated by private sector partners. The evacuation center was relieved to receive mattresses from IKEA and said, "The evacuees slept on a vinyl sheet. I think the elderly can sleep more comfortably on these mattresses now. Thank you."

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In Yoshida and Kuma Villages, emergency tents stored by Civic Force were installed at the entrances of evacuation centers. Those tents will be used to isolate evacuees with COVID-19 symptoms.

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