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Victims of 2018 torrential rains remembered in Ehime Pref. memorial services

Children hold sparklers at a memorial service for the victims of the torrential rains that struck western Japan during the 2018 rainy season, in the city of Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture, on July 7, 2019. (Mainichi/Kazuki Yamazaki)

UWAJIMA, Ehime -- Memorial services for the victims of the torrential rains that struck a wide swath of western Japan last year were held by municipal governments and residents' groups across Ehime Prefecture on July 7.

In the heavy rains from June 28 to July 8 in 2018, over 200 people died mainly in the western Japan prefectures of Hiroshima, Okayama and Ehime, which all face the Seto Inland Sea. In Ehime Prefecture, including deaths related to but not caused directly by the disaster, 33 lost their lives.

At a memorial service in the Ehime Prefecture city of Uwajima, local residents lit candles and sparklers in a symbol of prayer for the victims.

A flame taken from a monument for victims of the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake in Kobe was transported to the venue in Uwajima. Flames were also delivered from monuments in the Iwate Prefecture cities of Rikuzentakata and Otsuchi, which suffered severe tsunami damage following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, and which had received flames from the Kobe monument themselves.

The participants in Uwajima arranged bamboo lanterns into the shape of the kanji character for "heart," and laid out candles to look like a river.

(Japanese original by Yuichi Nakagawa and Ryo Endo, Matsuyama Bureau)

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