National

Nearly 4,000 people still in evacuation centers, one week after Typhoon Hagibis

JIJI

Some 4,000 people were still being forced to live in evacuation centers in 10 of the nation’s 47 prefectures, including Tokyo, as of Friday, about a week after Typhoon Hagibis laid waste to central and eastern sections of the archipelago.

With landslides still a danger and huge amounts of disaster debris yet to be disposed of in flood-hit areas, progress is slow in efforts to return life to normal as temperatures fall.

According to authorities, at least 78 people were killed in 12 prefectures. The death toll was particularly high in Fukushima, at 28, Miyagi, at 16, and Kanagawa, at 14.

According to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, flooding above the first-floor level has been confirmed in about half of roughly 45,000 damaged houses nationwide.

Power outages, which affected approximately 520,000 houses at their peak, have almost ended. But, according to the welfare ministry, more than 95,000 houses still had no tap water in 12 prefectures, including Fukushima and Ibaraki, as of Friday.

According to the land ministry, 128 levees along 71 rivers in seven prefectures were confirmed to have ruptured. The total area of inundation rose to over 25,000 hectares at one point, greatly surpassing the roughly 18,500 hectares of flooding observed during last year’s torrential rains in western Japan.

Floodwaters have been drained at 101 locations in 70 municipalities across 17 prefectures, but some areas in Miyagi, Fukushima and Nagano prefectures have yet to complete drainage work.

Railways are also struggling to recover from the disaster, with train services suspended on 17 lines run by seven operators, including the Tohoku, Suigun and Iiyama lines of East Japan Railway Co., or JR East. Services have resumed in both directions between Takao and Otsuki stations on JR East’s Chuo Line, which was blocked by a landslide. However, limited express services on the line will be suspended until the end of October.

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