The record-shattering rains and subsequent flooding that punished southern Japan over the weekend are finally subsiding.
According to the Associated Press, the majority of the quarter-million people evacuated due to the extraordinary torrent returned to their homes on Monday, despite warnings that the danger had not fully passed.
The storm, which began Thursday, left 28 people dead and thousands more homeless across Japan’s Kyushu region, a mountainous island in the southern part of the country.
In footage from Russian television, Japanese law enforcement and military personnel are seen rescuing locals via helicopter and inflatable rafts. Other shots show upended vehicles and ravaged trees in a mélange of destruction.
Photos from Monday’s cleanup efforts portray the extent of the damage.With the memory of last year’s catastrophic tsunami still strong, Japanese soldiers are seen praying as others carry an unidentified person killed during the flooding in Aso, Kumamoto prefecture.
With thousands of buildings across Kyushu damaged, local residents in this photo are seen working around the clock to minimize the water damage.
A man interviewed at a shelter in southern Japan told the Telegraph that he had never experienced anything like the weekend’s rains before.
Al-Jazeera meteorologist Steff Gaulter said the seasonal rains in southern Japan, referred as the “East Asia monsoon,” are common for this part of the year. However, she added that Kyushu’s mountainous terrain, combined with the record-setting 20 inches of rain in one day, created a perfect storm situation for the floods.
On Monday, southern Japan seemed for the most part to be rid of the rain, officials said. But many remain fearful of a similar scene in the northern portion of the country this week.
See our gallery of the devistation from the flooding in Japan below:
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