Bahram Qassemi

Iran sympathizes with Japan over deadly floods, landslides

Tasnim – Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi expressed deep sorrow over Japan’s recent deadly floods and landslides that have killed and injured hundreds of people in the East Asian country.

In a statement released on Saturday, Qassemi offered his condolences to the Japanese people and government as well as the bereaved families of victims of the recent natural disasters.

The message came after a landslide buried houses and people in the small town of Atsuma on Japan’s northern island prefecture of Hokkaido.

The landslide was triggered by a magnitude 6.7 earthquake that shook the island Thursday, killing at least 20 people, collapsing houses and cutting power to millions of homes.

It is the latest in a series of disasters that have hit the country, after multiple deaths caused by a severe typhoon, flooding, and heatwaves this summer.

As many as 40,000 rescue workers, including 22,000 troops from Japan’s Self Defense Forces, worked through the night in Atsuma Thursday to search for residents feared buried in the rubble.

Families of those missing stood around anxiously as the teams dug deep into the displaced earth.

Thursday’s earthquake came just days after the strongest typhoon to hit Japan’s mainland in 25 years smashed a tanker into a bridge, forcing one of the country’s largest airports to close and hundreds of flights to be canceled. The storm caused at least 10 deaths.

Two months ago, landslides and flooding caused by torrential rain across Japan — from Saga in the far southwest to Gifu in the center of the main island of Honshu — killed 200 people in what became one of the deadliest natural disasters to hit the country since the earthquake and tsunami of 2011.