Problems With Typhoon Shelters In Marumori Town

Problems with typhoon shelters in Marumori town

NHK has learned of issues at two shelters in a Japanese town during Typhoon Hagibis.

Officials of Marumori Town, Miyagi Prefecture in northeastern Japan, say flooding from a nearby river inundated the first floor of a shelter in the town's central Kaneyama district.

About 20 people were staying in the facility located about 100 meters from the Kijio River.

The officials say some evacuees tried to move to another shelter located on higher ground, only to find the facility was locked.

They say these people were forced to take shelter in their cars in the parking lot.

The officials say they had not believed smaller rivers, like the Kijio River, would be flooded.

They say they had designated the flooded facility as a shelter that would be opened in the typhoon's first stage, and they had planned to open others as the number of evacuees increased.

Many residents have expressed dissatisfaction with the town's handing of the shelters. The town says it will review its disaster preparedness measures, and will consider opening higher ground shelters more quickly during future disasters.