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Riverbank section gives way, collapses into Asato River

Date Posted: 2012-05-25

A 20-meter-long stretch of riverbank along the Asato River in Naha City’s Makishi district has collapsed, sending engineers into action trying to figure out how severe the situation is.

The collapse was first noticed early Friday morning by a 65-year-old construction worker whose company has a contract with Okinawa Prefecture for Asato River repair work. He noted “a part of the riverbank has collapsed before, so we know how to handle this kind of problem.” He called the city’s engineering works office, which sent the Fire Department to cover the site with a blue tarp. The section that collapsed and slid into the river was about 1.5 meters deep at the deepest point.

The Okinawa Prefecture Southern Engineering Works Office says natural erosion of the riverbank appears to be causing the current sinking. The office says it plans to begin restoration work immediately at the site, which is along an empty space near a residential area between Kokusai and Himeyuri Streets.

Officials say the damaged area approaches about one meter deep near a residential apartment building. Dirt is flowing into the river as the riverbank continues to gradually erode and break. Public Works Engineers say the problems seem to have begun between midnight and sunrise last Friday, causing the ground to sink. Sandbags have been placed along the riverbank, along with the tarps, to retard further erosion.

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