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Elementary school student joins volunteers in landslide-hit Hiroshima Pref. city

Naoki Morioka scoops up sediment with a shovel as a volunteer at a disaster hit area in the city of Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, on July 15, 2018. (Mainichi)

KURE, Hiroshima -- An elementary school boy from the city of Osaka was among the many volunteers who arrived here over a three-day weekend to help clean up areas reeling from landslides and flooding in the wake of recent torrential rains.

Naoki Morioka, 11, a sixth-grade elementary school student, came to the disaster-hit Tennomiyamachi district of Kure, about 270 kilometers west of Osaka, with his father Kyosuke, 43, and repeatedly shoveled sediment into a wheelbarrow at a residence that suffered damage. He took breaks every 10 minutes to prevent heatstroke as beads of sweat formed on his face under the burning summer sun.

Fumiya Miura, 72, who lived in the damaged house, hosed water over Naoki's head.

"He's only around the age of a grandchild, but he's doing well. It's helpful because I can't do anything by myself," Miura said.

Naoki wiped away sweat after finishing the task and said, "The damage was heavier than what I had imagined and I was surprised. I'm glad that the space in front of the house was cleaned due to everyone's efforts."

(Japanese original by Kenji Konoha, Osaka Photo Department)

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