National

Floodwaters send branches, garbage downstream, wreaking havoc with Choshi port

Kyodo

Torrential rain that forced the Kinugawa River to overflow its banks in Ibaraki Prefecture also pushed a massive amount of dead branches and garbage to the mouth of the Tonegawa River in Chiba Prefecture, wreaking havoc on one of the nation’s top fishing ports.

People involved in the cleanup at Choshi port have been working nonstop to remove the waste before the saury fishing season peaks, but they had not finished their work by Sunday.

The Kinugawa River, which flooded much of Joso, Ibaraki Prefecture, last week, flows into the Tonegawa River near the border between Ibaraki and Chiba prefectures. As of Friday, approximately 6,300 cu. meters of garbage had piled up around Choshi port and its boat slips, according to the port office.

Chiba prefectural authorities and fishing cooperatives have been removing the waste with heavy machinery, but the work is difficult as the breakwater surrounding the harbor allows the flotsam to continuously pile up.

Among the waste, soccer balls, plastic bottles and running shoes were seen along with large amounts of dead branches.

“Muddy water is still streaming from upriver, so the waste may continue to drift downriver,” a local official said.