Typhoon Hagibis made landfall in the Izu Peninsula, near Tokyo, on the night of October 12, 2019. The storm cut through the eastern part of the island of Honshu, causing widespread destruction.

140 embankments along more than 70 rivers throughout the country broke as a result of record rain. 93 people were killed and more than 87,000 homes were heavily damaged.

Along the Abukuma River

Some of the most severe damage was seen along the Abukuma River, which runs through Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures.

Levees at 47 locations collapsed along the river and 16 of its tributaries. More than 1,000 square kilometers were flooded.

Natori City

  • Houses damaged217

Iwanuma City

  • Injured1
  • Houses damaged46

Watari Town

  • Houses damaged66

Shibata Town

  • Injured1
  • Houses damaged1209

Murata Town

  • Houses damaged200

Ogawara Town

  • Houses damaged516

Kakuda City

  • Dead1
  • Injured4
  • Houses damaged1562

Marumori Town

  • Dead10
  • Injured2
  • Houses damaged1237

Backwater Phenomenon

The typhoon claimed 10 lives in Marumori Town. This is the largest death toll of any community along the Abukuma River. Large parts of the town's central area were inundated.

Embankments were ruptured along the Shin-kawa and Uchi-kawa rivers, tributaries of the Abukuma.

This is believed to have been caused by the "backwater phenomenon." This is when a river is filled with rain water, blocking the flow of its tributaries and in turn causing their water levels to rise.

The town office was flooded and isolated for two days. Marumori's sole general hospital was also inundated, leading to medical exams being suspended for 16 days.

Landslides cut off access to the town's mountainous areas. Some communities in the Hippo district were isolated for over a week.

Zao Town

  • Dead1
  • Houses damaged39

Shiroishi City

  • Houses damaged394

Date City

  • Injured12
  • Houses damaged973

Fukushima City

  • Injured8
  • Houses damaged1225

Kawamata Town

  • Houses damaged113

Nihonmatsu City

  • Dead2
  • Injured2
  • Houses damaged287

Otama Village

  • Houses damaged6

Motomiya City

  • Dead7
  • Houses damaged986

Dead on the 1st Floor

Some estimates show that flooding in an urban area of Motomiya City, where the Abukuma meets the Adatara, reached up to 4.8 meters.

Seven people were killed, with five found on the first floor of their homes. It is believed they were left with no time to evacuate due to rapidly rising water levels.

Even after rains subsided, water levels continued to rise. At around 1 a.m. on October 13, both rivers overflowed and water flowed rapidly into the city.

Miharu Town

  • Houses damaged16

Koriyama City

  • Dead6
  • Injured1
  • Houses damaged7240

Sukagawa City

  • Dead2
  • Houses damaged903

Kagamiishi Town

  • Injured1
  • Houses damaged95

Tamakawa Village

  • Houses damaged62

Yabuki Town

  • Houses damaged20

Izumizaki Village

  • Houses damaged17

Nakajima Village

  • Houses damaged13

Ishikawa Village

  • Houses damaged535

Asakawa Town

  • Houses damaged26

Tanagura Town

  • Injured2
  • Houses damaged6

Shirakawa City

  • Dead2
  • Houses damaged12

Nishigo Village

  • Houses damaged23

On October 29, the government designated the disaster as "severe" and "extraordinary" as defined in the disaster recovery law. This is the second time the designation has been used, following the strong earthquakes that hit Kumamoto Prefecture in 2016.

Two months have passed since the typhoon. Nearly 1,500 people continue to live in evacuation centers.

Maptiles & Geospatial Information by Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI); Maptiles by MIERUNE, under CC BY. Data by OpenStreetMap contributors, under ODbL; Integrated Disaster Information Mapping System (DiMAPS) by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT); Water Information System by MLIT; Cabinet Office; Fukushima Prefecture; Miyagi Prefecture

Satoshi Yamamoto
NHK World
Senior Correspondent