Buhari Mourns With PM Abe Over Weather Tragedy

President Buhari, Shinzo Abe, Japanese Prime Minister

President Muhammadu Buhari, Thursday, commiserated with the government and people of Japan over the loss of lives and property following a heavy downpour that resulted in flooding and landslides.

In a letter to Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, Buhari described the tragedy as an “unprecedented weather disaster.’’

In a press release issued Thursday by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity in his Twitter handle, the President said the government and people of Nigeria extend their sympathy and prayers for the Japanese as they surmount the fall out of the sad incident.

The President remarked “It is indeed sad that the unprecedented weather disaster, the worst since 1982, has caused massive destruction to livelihood in the flood stricken areas.

“On behalf of the government and the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I write to commiserate with the Government and people of Japan, following last week’s torrential rain that caused floods and subsequent landslides in Western Japan, killing over one hundred and seventy-six persons and forcing millions to evacuate their homes while dozens remain missing.

“Our thoughts and sympathy are with the distressed population and indeed the entire people of your country during this period of national grief.

“I am confident that the Government and people of Japan will quickly recover from this tragedy and show resilience while embarking on the rebuilding process.”

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.

Reports from BBC news on Wednesday indicated that 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.

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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,” 38-year-old Kosuke Kiyohara, who has not heard from his sister and her two sons, told AFP.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has cancelled an overseas trip 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.