“At least 155 people have died in floods and landslides triggered by torrential rain in western Japan, says the government. It is the highest death toll caused by rainfall that Japan has seen in more than three decades. Rescuers are now digging through mud and rubble in a race to find survivors, as dozens are still missing.
“About two million people have been evacuated from the region after rivers burst their banks. Authorities have opened up school halls and gymnasiums to those who have been displaced by the rainfall.
“There remains a risk of landslides, with rain-sodden hilltops liable to collapse. “I have asked my family to prepare for the worst,” said 38-year-old Kosuke Kiyohara, who has not heard from his sister and her two sons.
“Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has cancelled an overseas trip to Europe to deal with the flood crisis. More than 70,000 rescue workers, including the fire service and the army, are involved in the relief effort.
“Flood warnings are still in effect for some of the worst hit areas, including the Okayama prefecture in the southern part of Japan. But more settled weather is expected over the next few days which is likely to help with rescue efforts.
“We are checking every single house to see if there are people still trapped inside them. We know it’s a race against time, we are trying as hard as we can,” an official with the prefecture’s government told AFP.
“There will soon be a sudden change in God’s dealings. The world in its perversity is being visited by casualties,—by floods, storms, fires, earthquakes, famines, wars, and bloodshed. The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power; yet He will not at all acquit the wicked. “The Lord hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.” O that men might understand the patience and longsuffering of God! He is putting under restraint His own attributes. His omnipotent power is under the control of Omnipotence. O that men would understand that God refuses to be wearied out with the world’s perversity, and still holds out the hope of forgiveness even to the most undeserving! But His forbearance will not always continue. Who is prepared for the sudden change that will take place in God’s dealing with sinful men? Who will be prepared to escape the punishment that will certainly fall upon transgressors?” Fundamentals of Christian Education, page 356.