Typhoon Maria Brings Devastation to East Asia
Flooding and landslides have devastated the central western regions of Japan following heavy rains. Millions of people are under evacuation orders, 270,000 are without water, and most recent news reports 179 dead and more than 50 missing.
Residents were unprepared for the 70 inches of torrential rainfall from Typhoon Maria over the past two weeks – the worst to hit Japan since 1982. In fact, flood hazard and landslide maps were only completed for the country in 2013, at which point many homes were already located in flood-prone areas.
In the aftermath of the storm, the region is also now coping with excessive heat. As the sky cleared, a blazing sun took the rain’s place, causing high temperatures of 86 degrees Fahrenheit, leaving residents concerned of potential heat stroke for those areas without water or power.
Multiple industries also had to close operations to deal with flooding and landslides, including Mazda’s head office in Hiroshima, Daihatsu, and Panasonic. Road blockages have also caused gas and diesel shortages, as refineries and oil terminal deliveries have been delayed.
At this writing, Typhoon Maria has also thrown heavy rainfall onto Taiwan and eastern China, bringing threats of mudslides in the region as it makes its way onshore.
We will provide updates on the situation as it develops. Please also consider a donation to the DRI Foundation, which provides support to organizations helping regions recover and rebuild from disasters.