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Torrential rains trigger flooding, landslides

Date Posted: 2011-05-19

The combined effects of a normal rainy season and a band of low pressure sweeping across Okinawa are the reason for very heavy rains that poured onto the island over the weekend and into Monday, dumping enough water to cause rivers to overflow their banks and erode a dirt and concrete wall enough to trigger a landslide.

Naha City firefighters turned out 11 times in a three-hour period Monday in response to the swollen Aja River overflowing its banks in the Nagata district, flooding buildings—including an apartment house first level—by four centimeters. It was worse in Nishihara Town, where the Kohatsu River overflowed its banks sending a moderate 10~20 centimeters wave of water across the town about 11:30 a.m. Officials say they were lucky the waters began receding a half-hour later, causing little damage.

In Urasoe City’s Serikyaku district, a retaining wall built of dirt and concrete gave way under the incessant pounding of the rains, causing portions of it to collapse. Urasoe Police were on the scene moments after it happened about 8:55 p.m., controlling travel across a 300-meters-long stretch of city roadway, diverting traffic around the piles of debris.

In Kitanakagusuku Village, ten-meter-long cracks developed on a farm road near Chujun intersection, and in Naha City’s Makishi district, about 264 square meters of a monorail station parking lot was flooded.

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