Victims Remembered 4 Years after Rain Disaster in Kumamoto

Jiji Press/file photo
Bereaved families offer flowers during a ceremony on Sunday to mark the anniversary of the torrential rains that hit Hitoyoshi, Kumamoto Prefecture, in 2020.

Hitoyoshi, Kumamoto Pref. (Jiji Press)—Bereaved families and others on Sunday prayed for those killed due to heavy rain in Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan, four years ago.

Twenty people attended a memorial ceremony in the city of Hitoyoshi to mourn the victims of the rain disaster, which left 67 people dead and two others missing.

At the ceremony, Hitoyoshi Mayor Hayato Matsuoka said many people are still forced to live in temporary housing. “We will work toward reconstruction as soon as possible.”

Kiyoto Maruo, 75, who was head of a local fire company at the time, said, “I am committed to preserving the lessons from the disaster and contributing to the reconstruction of Hitoyoshi.”

“Even after four years, my sorrow remains unchanged,” Naomi Nishimura, 56, who lost her parents in the disaster, said after the ceremony.

In Hitoyoshi, 21 people died due to the disaster that occurred on July 4, 2020. Across Kumamoto, 424 people from 224 households were receiving reconstruction support, including living in temporary housing, as of the end of May, according to the prefectural government.