Nagano City didn't alert residents of river breach

NHK has learned that Nagano City did not inform residents about the burst of a major river caused by Typhoon Hagibis, despite receiving the information from the central government.

The land ministry says it announced at 6 a.m. on October 13 that a dam on the bank of Chikuma River had burst. The ministry had concluded the collapse likely occurred two hours earlier.

This information was conveyed to Nagano City along with other municipalities. But the city failed to inform its residents. It continued to send out old information by its radio warning system and mobile phone messages only that the riverbank may have burst.

Evacuation orders were issued for areas near the riverbank just before midnight, and many residents spent the night in shelters.

Some residents who did not know about the river breach returned home after dawn. A family was reportedly stranded on the second floor of their home when it was later inundated by water.

City officials apologized for failing to convey such important information, and vowed to investigate the cause of the oversight. They said they were under pressure to respond to a great deal of information about flood damage at the time.

The flood left two people in the city dead.