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Prayers offered for victims of Kyushu floods

Jiji Press

Staff at the
municipal government office in Asakura, Fukuoka
Prefecture, stand for a moment of silence on Friday in commemoration of victims of heavy floods in the prefecture six months ago.

Jiji Press ASAKURA, Fukuoka (Jiji Press) — Residents in Fukuoka and Oita prefectures offered prayers on Friday, six months after torrential rains caused widespread flooding and landslides that left 40 people dead and two missing.

In Asakura, Fukuoka Prefecture, where many victims lived, residents offered flowers and lit incense sticks to remember the dead.

“The past six months went by so quickly,” said Shigeyo Sakamoto, 61, who visited an affected area in the city with her grandchild to offer prayers. “I hope those who passed away will watch over this region.”

People who were moved to makeshift housing in Asakura following the disaster prayed in their new homes.

“We’ll work hard to rebuild our lives,” Michiko Takakura, 68, said as she offered words of comfort to a friend who died in the disaster.

“The spotlight only shines on places where reconstruction has progressed, but the reality is that we still have a long way to go,” Takakura said. “It’s hard to live when I can’t work.”

In the Asakura government office, some 800 staff members took a moment out at 10 a.m. to offer silent prayers.

A female staff member said, “I thought about those who passed away and the sorrow of their families as I prayed.”

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