Schools Reopen In Flood - Hit Area In Southern Japan

Schools reopen in flood-hit area in southern Japan

Schools in the southwestern Japanese city of Hitoyoshi have reopened, after heavy rain caused floods and mudslides in the area recently.

The city of Hitoyoshi in Kumamoto Prefecture was devastated after the Kuma River overflowed.

Six elementary schools and three junior high schools in the city were closed temporarily, as school grounds were inundated and routes to the facilities were blocked with mud.

Nishize Elementary School is one of them. It is near the river. The homes of about 60 percent of the pupils have been flooded.

One of the bridges that is used by students to get to the school was partly washed away.

The children were allowed to report to school by 9:00 a.m. That is later than usual.

Parents were seen driving students to the school, as many pupils are staying at the homes of relatives, and some of those homes are far away from the school.

School officials say that no classes will be held on Monday. They say they will check to see what students need. The textbooks and school bags of many students were damaged in the floods. The officials say the children will engage in some recreational activities that they can enjoy together.

One father, who brought his two sons to school, said that his single-story house was flooded. He also said that his sons are shocked and exhausted. He said that he will talk to them to help them feel less stressed.

The mother of a fifth grader said that her house was spared, but that her children look anxious after seeing the devastation in the city. She said that she is worried about her children's friends.