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Typhoon Guchol claims one fisherman’s life

Date Posted: 2012-06-22

A 52-year-old company worker is dead after he apparently ventured out fishing while Typhoon Guchol was bearing down on Okinawa Monday afternoon.

A couple found the man, Tsutomu Higa, floating on the surface of the sea near Hamagawa Fishing Port in Chatan Town about 4 p.m. Rescue workers found him floating face down on the water at a depth of 50~60cm near the breakwater. Higa was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead an hour later. Officials identified Higa, a company employee in Okinawa City’s Yamazato district, by a fishing rod with his name on it.

They believe he was struck by strong winds and blown into the sea. At the time of the accident, wind speeds of 19~20m/s were being reported in central and southern Okinawa. Waves at the time were eight meters high, and warnings had been issued against venturing near the water.

The Okinawa Prefecture Disaster Prevention and Crisis Management reports a series of minor incidents and injuries during the typhoon’s pass over Okinawa. A 70-year-old man attempting to fix the galvanized sheet metal roof fell from the second floor in Okinawa City. He suffered a 7icm head laceration and was taken to a hospital. In Chatan Town, a 79-year-old man attempting to move an old cabinet in his yard dropped it, breaking two toes on his right foot.

On a positive note, the Disaster Prevention and Crisis Management agency reports 19 people took time to go check relatives’ homes to make sure everything was safe. One old home in Naha, five in Kin Town, one in Ginowan, five in Okinawa City, one in Ie Village and six in Minami-daito Village were checked at the storm’s outset.

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