NAGASAKI -- Several structures on Hashima Island, a World Cultural Heritage site in southwestern Japan also known as Gunkanjima (Battleship Island), have sustained damage from powerful Typhoon Haishen, the city of Nagasaki announced on Sept. 9.
The abandoned island off the coast of Nagasaki makes up part of a UNESCO heritage site of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution. It is home to the No. 30 apartment building, Japan's oldest apartment complex made of reinforced concrete, which was constructed in 1916 as housing for miners. The local government reported that part of the structure collapsed after the storm lashed the island.
It was previously confirmed that parts of the exterior wall situated from the fourth to seventh floors had collapsed between March and June, among other damage. After Typhoon Haishen, the 10th typhoon of 2020, had passed, city employees set foot on Hashima Island on Sept. 8, and found that a portion of a beam between the third and fourth floors had fallen down.
Additionally, parts of a set of pillars for a coal storage conveyor belt built in 1937 were damaged in the storm. The conveyor belt was used to transport coal excavated from the seabed onto ships, and is part of the remains earmarked for restoration work under the city's plans to preserve the island. Sections of the island welcoming tourists and other visitors, such as Dolphin Pier, were not affected.
Hashima Island earlier saw damage to its coastal revetment and other sections after Typhoon Maysak hit the island. The city government's world heritage office said, "After consulting with the Agency for Cultural Affairs, the Nagasaki Prefectural Government and other bodies, we wish to decide on how to respond."
(Japanese original by Mayu Matsumura, Nagasaki Bureau)