Metro Detroiters with ties to Japan say country needs help after devastating floods

- About 200,000 people are without water or power in Japan after torrential rainfall and landslides have made it hard to get help there.

The consul general of Japan in Detroit and metro Detroiters with ties to Japan spoke to FOX 2 about the race to help people now.

Adam Wolf is hooked to his phone.

"These are people who are like family, this is like a second home to me, Japan is like my second home," Wolf said. "And America would be my first home, so it's pretty emotional."

A world away there is water everywhere. Wolf works for the Consul General of Japan Office in Detroit.  He lived in Japan for a year. He has an app called LINE, and like Facebook Messenger, it is his lifeline of communication.
   
"I'll text them or email them and I've been pretty lucky that a lot of my friends that are in the region have not in the flood plain," he said. "So they've been OK so far but it still worries you. You're constantly thinking where is it going to affect next and who else will be affected."

The situation is dire.  More than 150 people are dead after torrential rainfall caused landslides.  The rain, relentless and the help pouring in can't come fast enough against the rising water. 
 
About 200,000 are without running water or electricity.  The Consul General of Japan in Detroit spoke about the landscape of the nation. 
 
"Japan is a small island country with lots of mountains," said Mitsuhiro Wada, Consul General of Japan in Detroit. "And reaching to some villages is very difficult without having the proper infrastructure."

There's a significant Japanese American population in metro Detroit.  The water woes affecting the western part of the island nation. The homes have not always been built to withstand the water.  

"Our Japanese houses are basically made of wood and not so strong materials," Wada said. "So generally every 50 or 60 years we rebuild the houses.

"But this time the rainfall was so heavy and lot of land sides happened so in that situation it's too much for those houses."

About 5,000 people are in shelters right now and getting supplies to the areas affected is hard when you're fighting against landslides.  

"Roads are cut, the railways are cut and the telecommunication and telephone lines are also cut," Wada said. "Those infrastructures are really important to secure the distribution of necessary good to the different areas."

He's hoping people in Metro Detroit will continue to pray and perhaps help where they can to wash away the disparity and make room for hope.

Go to http://www.jrc.or.jp/english/ for the Japanese Red Cross if you can donate.  
 

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