• Kyodo

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Around 60,000 homes in a western Japan city have been facing a water outage since a section of a water pipe bridge collapsed, city officials said Monday.

Some 138,000 people in parts of the city of Wakayama have been affected. The bridge that spans the Kinokawa River is not used for crossing banks by people or cars.

In the incident, confirmed on Sunday evening, the two pipes on the bridge collapsed for about 60 meters near the center of the river. The bridge is 546 meters long, with each pipe measuring around 90 centimeters in diameter.

Mayor Masahiro Obana told a news conference that the city is considering measures to restart water supply, including implementing temporary pipes across another bridge alongside it.

The collapsed pipe bridge was located in 1975 and made durable for 48 years, according to the city. No abnormality was reported when monthly visual inspections were held in September.

The city set up water stations for affected people in cooperation with the Ground Self-Defense Force while temporarily closing around 35 preschools and schools.

“This is the first time I’ve experienced something like this,” an 88-year-old woman said. “It’s difficult to carry the water, as I live alone and have nobody to rely on.”

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