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1,000-year-old tree snaps after Typhoon Hagibis lashes central Japan

The Japanese elm tree found to be damaged by Typhoon Hagibis is seen in the Minami-Alps, Yamanashi Prefecture, on Oct. 16, 2019. (Mainichi/Shota Kaneko)

MINAMI-ALPS, Yamanashi -- The trunk of a Japanese elm tree believed to be over 1,000 years old snapped in this central Japan city after powerful Typhoon Hagibis recently battered Japan, a local resident found.

According to the Minami-Alps Municipal Government's cultural asset department, the tree is about 25 meters tall, and the part of the forked trunk that snapped off measured roughly 1 meter in diameter. The tree was designated as a natural treasure by the central government in 1928.

A city government representative called the tree "a symbol of the city," and said, "The incident was extremely regrettable."

Toyoko Iizumi, a 62-year-old local resident, found the tree damaged on the morning of Oct. 13. She told the Mainichi Shimbun, "I previously mowed the grass and raked the leaves around this tree, and I'll miss it."

(Japanese original by Shota Kaneko, Kofu Bureau)

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