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Water use soars just after Typhoon Songda passes

Date Posted: 2011-06-02

Long lines formed at gasoline stations and car washes across Okinawa Sunday, only hours after Typhoon Songda said ‘goodbye’ to Okinawa.

The Okinawa Prefectural Enterprise Bureau was forced to appeal to the public for reductions in water use, as seemingly everyone wanted to wash their cars to get rid of salt deposited by the typhoon. “We had a line starting to form about 7 a.m.,” said an employee of a gas station in Naha City’s Makabi district. “There were many people who just gave up because they couldn’t wait, and others who said they’d come back later.” One patron waited some two hours to get her car washed.

At a gasoline station in the Oroku district, employees reported lines stretching more than 100 meters off the facility property. “We have only one car washing machine,” said an employee, “and we’re able to use it only to 10 p.m. because of working noise, as our location is considered to be near residents.” He said it wasn’t likely all of his customers were able to get their cars taken care of.

The water service control section at the Okinawa Prefectural Enterprise Bureau began issuing water saving appeals on radio and television starting at 11 a.m. Sunday. “It clashed Sunday, and the convergence of car washing and cleaning after the typhoon caused demands for water to increase,” said a bureau official, “and that caused anxiety that water service wasn’t going to be able to keep up with the demand.”

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