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  3. National News
  4. 2018.7.27

Rain disaster evacuees face health risks from scorching heat, toilet shortages避難所、暑さや感染症対策急務

A volunteer uses a pack of refrigerant to cool down as she takes a break amid the heat wave in flood-hit Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, on July 14.© Reuters
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In the aftermath of torrential rain that hit western Japan in early July, nearly 5,800 evacuees from floods and mudslides faced heightened health and sanitary risks over scorching heat and problems caused by toilet shortages.

At least 619 buildings were damaged by mudslides, and water supply remained cut off at about 207,000 households as of July 13, according to government ministries, while temperatures rose above 30 degrees in many parts of the disaster-hit region.

“I’m worried my children may get heatstroke,” said 38-year-old Yoko Kitamura, who has taken shelter at an evacuation center in Hiroshima with her four children.

From July 6, the weather agency issued heavy rain warnings to 11 prefectures, including the three hardest-hit: Hiroshima, Okayama and Ehime. More than 200 people have died, according to police, and nearly 50 others remain missing, according to a Kyodo News tally.

Experts say a shortage of temporary toilets at evacuation centers increases the risk of health problems like dehydration. (Kyodo)

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