In Japan

Starting from zero: Residents of flood-hit western Japan stay put, focus on rebuilding

Torrential rain that struck western Japan a week ago caused floods and landslides, killing 200 people. Residents of Mabi district, in the city of Kurashiki in Okayama prefecture, say they are staying put, no matter how long it takes to rebuild.
Top: A soldier collecting photos from debris at a landslide site in Kumano Town. Above: Muscat grapes that Mrs Kaori Kataoka's father grew were damaged. Above: Refrigerators damaged by flooding are seen at a temporary waste-collection point at Mabi C
Refrigerators damaged by flooding are seen at a temporary waste-collection point at Mabi Clean Centre.PHOTO: REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Top: A soldier collecting photos from debris at a landslide site in Kumano Town. Above: Muscat grapes that Mrs Kaori Kataoka's father grew were damaged. Above: Refrigerators damaged by flooding are seen at a temporary waste-collection point at Mabi C
People taking in the devastation left behind by landslides in Kumano, Hiroshima prefecture, on July 9.PHOTO: REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Top: A soldier collecting photos from debris at a landslide site in Kumano Town. Above: Muscat grapes that Mrs Kaori Kataoka's father grew were damaged. Above: Refrigerators damaged by flooding are seen at a temporary waste-collection point at Mabi C
A soldier collecting photos from debris at a landslide site in Kumano Town.PHOTOS: REUTERS, WALTER SIM
Top: A soldier collecting photos from debris at a landslide site in Kumano Town. Above: Muscat grapes that Mrs Kaori Kataoka's father grew were damaged. Above: Refrigerators damaged by flooding are seen at a temporary waste-collection point at Mabi C
Muscat grapes that Mrs Kaori Kataoka's father grew were damaged.PHOTO: REUTERS, WALTER SIM

Affected residents in hard-hit areas are staying put and focusing on rebuilding

For nearly two decades, Mr Minoru Akiyama, 46, has been dishing up bowls of ramen at his eatery Gonbei in the heart of Mabi district in Kurashiki city, Okayama prefecture, where he is a lifelong resident.

Both his livelihood and his home were, however, destroyed by the 3m-high torrent of floodwater that came gushing through the district during 72 hours of unprecedented rainfall from July 6 to 8 that breached the banks of two rivers.

Please or to continue reading the full article. Learn more about ST PREMIUM.

Enjoy unlimited access to ST's best work

  • Exclusive stories and features on multiple devices
  • In-depth analyses and opinion pieces
  • ePaper and award-winning multimedia content
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 15, 2018, with the headline 'Starting from zero'. Print Edition | Subscribe