Two years since river floods in Nagano

Wednesday marks two years since Typhoon Hagibis caused bursts of river levees in Nagano Prefecture, central Japan. People in one of the heavily damaged districts are calling for building of public housing, but the authorities are ruling out construction in the low lying area.

Torrential rain brought about by the typhoon led to the collapse of levees along six rivers in the prefecture, causing the death of 23 people. More than 6,900 houses were damaged.

Prefectural officials say 918 people of 394 households have been living in temporary housing, including rental apartments, as of October 1.

Nagano City's Naganuma district is located near the site of a levee break on the Chikuma River. Residents have been calling for public housing to be built in the district for the afflicted people. But the city said last week that it will not proceed with the construction.

Officials said it is difficult to secure safe land because the district has a risk of flooding, and if higher grounds are created by adding soil, the height may cause inconvenience for senior people. They also said the residents have an option of living in public housing under construction in a neighboring district.

But the residents' side says it has set evacuation actions to be taken before the authorities' evacuation information is issued so that all residents will be able to take shelter safely.

The residents say some people have no option but to leave their hometown.