I have to apologise... again! I have received quite a few e-mails from people in New Zealand who are worried about the flooding in our island. I didn't realise it had hit the news there..... sorry! In short, there has been terrible flooding in a few different places on our island in the last few weeks - some of which is reasonably close to where we live, but our immediate area has been swamped, but not flooded.
One of the worst hit areas has been Hita City and Yabakei - about an hour drive from here. After we took Mum to the airport in Fukuoka we drove back through this area and it was pretty shocking to see all the houses, business and rice fields completely filled with mud. It was really sad to see some of the bridges from the cycling trail we did last year completely washed out. I really hope they rebuild them, but I'm guessing it won't be their first priority. I know that they were hit hard again after we had driven through so the damage must be even worse than the photos above show.
In our immediate area we have had torrential rain off and on for the last few weeks. Every time I think it is over another huge cloud comes over and thunder and lightening precedes another huge downpour. There was one clap of thunder that was so loud at lunch time today that I literally jumped out of my chair and shouted something that small children shouldn't hear.... felt a little silly, but as I was the only one home I guess it didn't matter too much! During the worst rain the small bridge to some of our rice fields was literally under water.... and the tiny creeks became raging rivers. But, we have no lasting damage and hopefully the rain should finally stop in the next few days. I can't wait to try and get the house aired out... just in time for school holidays!