National

Over 500 public schools in Chiba Prefecture damaged by Typhoon Faxai

Kyodo, JIJI, Staff Report

Over 500 public schools in Chiba Prefecture, or some 40 percent of the total in the area, have confirmed damaged due to Typhoon Faxai, which hit the region earlier this month, according to a Kyodo News tally based on local government data.

Altogether, 548 public elementary, junior high and high schools in the prefecture saw damage to their buildings and other facilities, although classes have resumed in most areas. Repair work could take up to six months at some schools, the tally showed.

Many schools had been closed due to widespread blackouts caused by the typhoon, which struck the area on Sept. 9.

As of 10 p.m. Wednesday, some 37,600 households remained without electricity in the prefecture and about 7,600 households had no running water, while some 180 people were staying at evacuation centers, according to the prefectural government.

The total damage to houses and agricultural operations is expected to increase further because some municipalities remain unable to report the damage situation to the prefectural government.

The prefectural government has not received reports of damage from five municipalities, including the city of Tateyama in southern Chiba.

In the city of Chiba, where record winds of up to 207 kilometers per hour were recorded before dawn on Sept. 9, 130 schools — or more than 70 percent of the total — suffered damage.

At a school in the city’s Mihama Ward, a gymnasium roof measuring 20 meters long and 37 meters wide was blown off by strong winds. Additional budgetary allowances will have to be made to cover the estimated six-month repair job, according to the school’s vice principal, Shinji Okada.

He said some school events, such as a ball-themed sports day and an art festival, were scheduled to be held in the gymnasium. “The impact may last until the graduation ceremony (in March),” Okada also said.

At Tomiura Junior High School, located about 800 meters away from the coastline in the city of Minamiboso, walls of a gymnasium crumbled and four classrooms became unusable after broken windows allowed heavy rain to blow in.

Several other schools in Minamiboso have also been damaged by the typhoon. “Even though electricity has been restored, we are far from perfect conditions,” an official on its educational board said.

Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc. said Wednesday that the firm’s total insurance claim payments related to damage from Typhoon Faxai are expected to exceed ¥110 billion.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency announced Wednesday that a total of 4,243 people had been taken to hospitals for heat-related illnesses between Sept. 9 and 15. Chiba Prefecture, which suffered from blackouts, topped the list, with 498 people.

GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5