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7月18日号 九州豪雨 熊本県内で甚大な被害

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tragic
悲惨な
(heavy) downpour
豪雨
trigger ~
~を引き起こす
flooding
洪水(後出 flood も同意)
landslide
土砂崩れ(後出 mudslide は土石流)
pose
もたらす
Japan ... Agency
気象庁
predict
予測する
rainfall
降雨量(後出 precipitation も同意)
evacuate
避難する(後出 take refuge も同意)
seasonal ... front
梅雨前線
ravage
甚大な被害を与える
overflow
氾濫する
breach
決壊させる(後出 give way は決壊する)
embankment
堤防
nursing home
(ここでは)特別養護老人ホーム
gush
流れ込む
two-story
2階建ての
bedridden
寝たきりの
(be) inundated by ~
~であふれかえる
muddy water
濁水(後出 mud は泥)
submerge
水没・浸水させる
uproot
引き抜く
Self-Defense Force troops
自衛隊員
work one's way through ~
~を押し分けて進む
debris
がれき
raging river
暴れ川
tributary
支流
(be) prone to ~
~が起こりやすい
hobble
妨げる

Tragic Downpour   

Days of heavy rain in Japan triggered flooding and landslides that left 65 people dead and 16 missing as of the morning of July 10, with downpours posing a widespread threat, officials said.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued its highest weather warning for five prefectures in Kyushu and two in the Chubu region, predicting rainfall levels seen "only once every few decades." Many evacuated their homes, with more than a million people advised to do so in Kyushu alone.

The disaster was caused by a seasonal rain front hanging over Japan from July 3. The area along the Kuma River in Kumamoto Prefecture was the worst hit. Heavy downpours that hit the following day ravaged the area, with record precipitation of 83.5 millimeters per hour seen in the village of Kuma, causing the river to overflow at 11 locations and breach its embankment at two.

The dead included 14 of the 65 elderly residents of the "Senjuen" nursing home next to the Kuma River. The river rose suddenly and its embankment gave way, causing floodwaters to gush into the two-story facility where most of the residents were bedridden or used wheelchairs.

Large areas of the city of Hitoyoshi in Kumamoto Prefecture were inundated by muddy water gushing from the Kuma River. Many cars were submerged up to their windows. Mudslides destroyed houses, floodwaters uprooted trees, and people took refuge on rooftops to await rescuers.

Self-Defense Force troops and other rescuers worked their way through mud and debris along the river, where many houses and other buildings were submerged nearly to their roofs.

The Kuma River is known as the "raging river" because it has many tributaries and is prone to flooding. Because of this, the construction of a flood control dam was planned for the largest tributary, the Kawabe River, but this was canceled in 2009 due to opposition from residents. The national and local governments sought different flood control methods, but high costs hobbled progress. (Compiled from AP and Mainichi reports)

[本文 - 332 words]

週刊英語学習紙 毎日ウィークリー

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