Hagibis Leaves Residents Struggling To Rebuild


Hagibis leaves residents struggling to rebuild

Nagano Prefecture in central Japan is facing a lengthy clean-up process as officials continue to assess the extent of the damage after the nearby river burst its banks. But the aftermath of Typhoon Hagibis hasn't damaged the resolve of residents going forward. NHK World's Haruka Nouchi is in the area and has more.

Haruka Nouchi: I'm at the bank of the Chikuma River. You can see the riverbed on the right side and how the levee was completely destroyed by the huge flood.There are many heavy machines putting blocks along the banks.

Since the water receded the full picture of the damage is more clear. Walls have collapsed, and many houses were covered in debris and mud on their first floors.

Japan's self-defense forces and fire officials have been going door to door to check for survivors.

More than 1100 people have been rescued. Two people have died and at least two are still missing.

People in the district are coming back to assess the destruction and start cleaning up.

A man whose family has lived here for over one hundred years says that he will have to throw away all the furniture.

Shinju Maejima said, "I've never experienced something like this before. It's tragic. Electricity hasn't been restored and water supplies are limited. I don't have the slightest idea when we'll be able to return home."

Daycares and schools are closed for now. Four schools located near the river aren't sure when they'll be able to reopen.

Workers from the Chikuma River Office are busy draining water, and they say they will continue the process, since there is still an area of about 5 square kilometers that remains flooded.

A professional has been sent by the Ministry of Land and Infrastructure to look at the current status of the levee Tuesday to determine the necessary next steps.

While there is still much work to be done, it is clear that the people who live here have family roots and a love for their land that goes much deeper than any mud from the typhoon and that they are resolved to work towards Nagano's recovery.