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Typhoon Hagibis: Entire area along major northeastern Japan river flooded

Christian Fernsby |
Almost the entire area along the Abukuma River in northeastern Japan was flooded after Typhoon Hagibis moved north along the river's stream, dumping huge amounts of rain that caused it to overflow.


A so-called "backwater phenomenon" occurred at many locations of the river system in Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures, causing dikes of the river and its branches to burst at 41 locations. The phenomenon occurs when the level of a river rises too high and blocks water from its tributaries. This in turn causes the water levels of the tributaries to rise and breach their dikes.

According to experts, it is extremely rare for almost all areas along such a major river designated by the central government as a class A river to be flooded.

A total of 45 people lost their lives to the typhoon in Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures, accounting for roughly 60% of all victims of the disaster. Floods from the Abukuma River contributed to this massive damage.

The upper reaches of the Abukuma River are managed by prefectural and municipal governments while its middle reaches and downstream area are managed by the central government.

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