National

Typhoon-hit Chiba seeking volunteers to help with repairs amid power outage

Kyodo

Municipalities in typhoon-hit areas of Chiba Prefecture started recruiting volunteers on Saturday as more than 100,000 households remained without electricity nearly a week after the storm.

Many of the municipalities were seeking only local residents to help fix homes and remove rubble as the nation kicked off a three-day holiday weekend, according to volunteer organizations.

“We haven’t fully grasped what kind of help is needed, as we still have limited means of communication” due to the power outage, an official from the city of Yachimata said.

Once the requests start to increase and people’s needs become more evident, the city will consider calling for assistance from people outside the area, the official said.

The town of Yokoshibahikari is looking for people who can help repair roofs as it is expected to rain in parts of the prefecture on Sunday.

About 150,000 households remain without electricity since Typhoon Faxai struck, down from a peak of 935,000.

Still, it is expected to take another two weeks or so to restore power to all the affected areas, Tepco Power Grid Inc. said Friday.

Company President Yoshinori Kaneko met with Chiba Gov. Kensaku Morita on Saturday to apologize for the prolonged outage.

“I have no words,” an 81-year-old woman in Minamiboso said after coming to city hall to charge her mobile phone.