169 people have died, 79 are missing and over 20,000 are now isolated as a result of the torrential rains in eastern Japan that have heavily hit the prefectures of Hiroshima, Ehime and Kochi (which released these figures). The cut-off areas have to rely on helicopters for the provision of food and drinking water. “Unfortunately, we still do not have precise information” regarding material damage, Koichi Arimura, from the department for social communications of the Japanese Bishops’ Conference, told SIR news agency. The Diocese of Hiroshima, the most affected by the floods, is still “assessing the extent of damage: which is difficult because it is so huge”, Arimura explained. Caritas Japan is already on the ground, “trying to understand how to organise relief efforts in the affected areas”. What is certain is that Caritas has launched an extraordinary fundraising “in order to be able to continue assisting the victims of this massive disaster”. The money raised will “go to relief efforts organized in cooperation with parishes in the affected areas”, the website reports.