An approaching typhoon prompted all 260 village officials and repair workers to leave Miyake Island on Saturday, leaving the volcanic island completely deserted for the first time in recorded history.
The 260, including Miyake Mayor Ko Hasegawa, left the island because of the danger of mudslides likely to be caused by the season’s 17th storm, the Tokyo metropolitan government said.
After the typhoon passes the island, some 200 km south of Tokyo, the 260 people will return to resume repairs, possibly Monday, metropolitan government officials said.
Before leaving the island for Tokyo port on a chartered ship, Hasegawa said, “This is the first time in the annals of the island’s history that every single person has left the island, and I feel sad. But that does not mean we have abandoned the island as we will return here Monday.”
Mount Oyama on the island erupted several times this summer, leading its 3,850 residents to leave the island early this month.
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