Source: Government of Japan – Prime Minister
On July 5, 2020, the Prime Minister held the first meeting of the Emergency Headquarters for the Heavy Rain in July 2020 at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Based on the discussion, the Prime Minister said,
“The overflowing of the Kuma River and the landslides caused by record-breaking torrential rain in the Kyushu region have resulted in a great amount of damage. I extend my sincere condolences for those who lost their lives and express my heartfelt sympathy to all those who have been affected.
Today we established the Emergency Response Headquarters. I ask all those present in this meeting to do everything in their power to rescue victims and make all-out efforts to restore electricity, waterworks, and other lifelines at the earliest possible time while assisting those affected by the disaster, based on the policy we just decided. Human life is the highest priority of all. Everything possible should be done to rescue people from residences or other locations that have become cut off and search for those who are missing.
Police, firefighters, and members of the Japan Coast Guard and Self-Defense Forces are currently going all out in conducting rescue and relief activities and searching for missing people, at a scale of more than 40,000 personnel. I ask you to continue your utmost efforts throughout the night to rescue people from residences and other locations that have become cut off because of the flooding and to search for missing persons.
In the increasingly severe heat, it is a matter of urgency to provide well-tailored support to the people affected by this disaster, including measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus disease. In addition to sending such supplies as not only waters and food but also air conditioning units, cardboard beds, infrared thermometers, cloth partitions, and simple provisional toilets to the evacuation centers proactively through a push-mode support, the government should provide the greatest possible amount of human resources support to the local governments affected by the disaster, including by dispatching disaster management coordination support staff. In addition, in the disaster affected areas, a large number of houses have sustained flood damage, so long-term evacuations can be expected. Expeditious actions should be taken in securing accommodations as temporary housing at Japanese inns and hotels as well as post-disaster public-funded rental accommodations, making use of public housing, housing for civil servants, and private-sector rental accommodations, so that people can stay there with peace of mind.
It is an urgent imperative to provide highly appropriate assistance to the victims regarding the disaster caused by the recent rains. In order to push our assistance to disaster victims forward in a rapid and forceful manner, the government will today establish a government-wide “Team to Support the Rebuilding of Disaster Victims’ Daily Lives and Livelihoods”. We have already sent more than 100 national government members to the disaster area and will build this Team up as necessary, without hesitation. In addition, to support daily lives of disaster victims, today, we will take a Cabinet Decision to mobilize reserve Self-Defense Forces officials after this meeting.
There is a chance that heavy rains will fall in the disaster-affected areas until tomorrow. It is critical to maintain the highest level of vigilance. In some locations, the ground has become loose because of the heavy rains that have fallen until now. I ask all the people in the disaster areas to continue to pay careful attention to information from their local authorities and to exercise an abundance of caution against landslides, overflowing rivers, and other hazards.”