• Kyodo

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The collapse of an aqueduct in Hiroshima Prefecture last Friday has cut off the water supply to most of the cities of Edajima and Kure, officials of the two cities said Monday.

As of Sunday, 32,050 households were without water, affecting about 72,100 people in all, the officials said.

A 45-meter section of the aqueduct in Aki Ward, Hiroshima, was damaged when the ground above it gave way, cutting off the supply of 280,000 tons of water per day, the officials said. The aqueduct connects Aki Ward with the town of Kaita, Hiroshima Prefecture.

A total of 22 water trucks from the Ground Self-Defense Force and two water supply ships from the Maritime Self-Defense Force were dispatched Sunday to help supply the affected cities and will remain in the area indefinitely.

But officials are concerned because the reservoir that provides water to the cities is nearly empty and repairs are expected to take about three weeks.

On Monday, officials from Edajima, where more than 84 percent of households have had their water supplies cut, began checking well water to make sure it is safe to drink.

Many houses in the city have wells for irrigation and laundry.

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