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Typhoon Hagibis leaves over 56,000 houses damaged in Japan

TOKYO -- The Fire and Disaster Management Agency announced on Oct. 20 that the number of housing units damaged due to Typhoon Hagibis reached 56,753 in 31 prefectures across the country, topping the 51,110 houses that were damaged in the torrential rain disaster in western Japan in July 2018.

As of Oct. 20, the death toll from the typhoon, this year's 19th, stood at 80 while 12 people remained missing, according to a tally by the Mainichi Shimbun. In the July 2018 downpour, over 270 people were killed, including those whose deaths were linked to the disaster.

By the type of damage, 122 houses were completely destroyed due to the effects of Typhoon Hagibis, while 864 houses were partially destroyed and 2,682 houses suffered minor damage. As the typhoon caused flooding of rivers and levee breaches in many parts of eastern Japan, 29,982 houses were inundated with water above floor level, while 23,103 residences suffered underfloor flooding.

The number of houses submerged above floor level in the typhoon is over four times as high as that in the July 2018 rain disaster, in which approximately 7,000 houses suffered similar damage, and topped the roughly 27,000 houses damaged in the torrential rain disaster in the Tokai region, central Japan, in 2000. These figures show Typhoon Hagibis was one of the severest natural disasters in recent years.

As some local governments have yet to conduct sufficient surveys on housing damage, the total number of residences affected by Typhoon Hagibis may swell even further.

Meanwhile, the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry revealed on Oct. 20 that makeshift embankments had been completed at 12 locations along seven rivers managed by the central government as of that day. These locations are among 135 spots on 71 rivers where the water burst dikes. Among rivers managed by prefectural governments, temporary levees had been completed in 53 of 123 locations where the embankments collapsed.

According to the government agencies and ministries, 4,077 people remained evacuated in Tokyo and 10 other prefectures. Water stoppages continued for some 78,000 houses in the capital and 11 other prefectures, while about 120 houses were cut from power in the service areas of Tohoku Electric Power Co.

(Japanese original by Kenichi Omura, Integrated Digital News Center, and Hiroyuki Tanaka, Special Reports Department)

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