National

In wake of Typhoon Hagibis, demand surging for post-flood recovery manual

by Masumi Koizumi

Staff Writer

The extensive flooding caused by Typhoon Hagibis, which inundated tens of thousands of homes, is driving demand for a free guide outlining recommended steps for recovery.

The 32-page guide titled “Recovering From a Flood Disaster” was created by the Disaster Connection Japan Network, an organization comprising some 40 nonprofit and volunteer groups engaged in disaster-relief activities, based on the groups’ experiences in flood-hit areas.

After the season’s 19th named storm earlier this month generated record rainfall that drenched the Tokai and Tohoku regions and caused widespread flooding, 105 requests for the brochure were received, mostly from volunteer groups working in the areas, according to the organization.

After monitoring the extent of the damage from the typhoon, the organization issued an additional 30,000 copies in anticipation of the surge in demand.

About 10,000 copies had already been distributed across Japan.

Fuminori Matsuyama, the organization’s representative, said that the aim is to “address the common issue shared by victims of not being able to chart a course toward rebuilding their lives.”

The manual addresses recovery processes, procedures necessary for obtaining public assistance, tips on cleaning flooded homes and contains a list of questions answered by those who have been in the same predicament, along with pictures and illustrations. One question, for example, asks what the biggest problem is after a flood. A resident in her 60s from Yamaguchi Prefecture who had experienced a storm surge answered that it was “the lack of transportation means and shoes.”

“My shoes were swept away, as were household goods, and the ocean water left the remaining shoes soaking wet and rendered them unusable,” the woman replied.

“I was deprived of transportation means because my car was inundated. I couldn’t go out for shopping,” she said, adding that “actively helping out neighbors who were in a more severe situation” kept her spirits high.

The manual is free but in Japanese. Matsuyama said that there is no plan yet to make an English version.

An application for the manual can be filled out on the organization’s blog (blog.canpan.info/shintsuna/)

The website also offers a downloadable four-page leaflet summarizing the advice. It is available in Japanese and English.

Typhoon Hagibis, one of the biggest tropical storms to strike Japan, made landfall on the Izu Peninsula on the evening of Oct. 12, causing rivers to overflow and paralyzing the capital and surrounding prefectures.

As of Thursday, the death toll was at least 84 with 10 people missing, according a tally by Kyodo News. A total of 33,624 homes were flooded below floor level, while 28,512 homes saw water reach above floor level, figures from the Fire and Disaster Management Agency show.

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