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Flooded residents want governments to pay

Date Posted: 2007-08-17

Kokusai Street businesses and nearby residents whose property was flooded during a heavy rainstorm that swept Okinawa last weekend say the damages are the fault of both Naha City and the Prefecture, and are demanding they pay up.
Citizens charge the storm waters could have remained within an area river and storm drains if the Prefecture had not permitted blockage in the waterways during construction. Iron framework for a bridge expansion impeded the water flow, plugging up as water levels rose and trash accumulated. The waters spilled over into Kokusai Street, sending a wall of water down the street, flooding businesses and private homes.
August 11th wasn’t the first time it happened, citizens say, and the Prefecture had been told of the problem when it happened last April 15th. Prefecture officials say “we’re not sure yet what caused the overflow. This time, heavy rains created overflow conditions even without the iron framework.” The Prefecture is telling residents it needs time to investigate, and then publish a report explaining the findings.
Those who incurred flooding are calling themselves victims, and are demanding the governments accept responsibility. “It’s the Prefecture’s fault we lost houses, and we lost restaurants. Please pay for damages.” The Prefecture has responded, telling the complaining residents to “please wait about compensation. We need to wait for the results of the inspection, and then we will decide what to do.”

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