Nine people rescued from Genka river flash flood

Nago City Fire Station got an emergency call Sunday afternoon reporting that nine people of a family on a picnic had been stranded on a sandbar about eight kilometers upstream of Genka River in Nago.  Heavy rainfall on the hills had caused a flash flood that had taken the party by surprise.

Firefighters responding to the call found and rescued all nine people including five children of 13 to 18 years of age. All were in good health with no injuries.

According to Nago City Fire Station Headquarters, the river was swollen around the accident site by as much as 1.2 meters due to heavy rain. When the firefighters arrived at the scene, the river was already about 0.6 meters deep. However, “With the river flowing very fast, it was difficult to stand firm in the stream,” a firefighter said.  The firefighters got the stranded people away from their predicament using a rope tied to a tree growing on the sandbar.

According to the Okinawa Meteorological Observatory, as much as 57.5mm per hour of heavy rain was recorded through late Sunday night in the area.