Typhoon Talas – The Worst Typhoon in Kumano’s History

On September 3rd and 4th a slow moving typhoon hovered over Kumano and compounded with Kumano’s own cloud cover to produce record breaking torrential rainfall. Parts of the region received the equivalent of 6 months to 1 years worth of normal rainfall producing devastation never before experience. One newspaper said it was once every 20,000 years kind of event.

Kumano normally is famous for having heavy rainfall. But, no one has ever seen anything like this before. Entire valleys became like huge lakes. The torrential rains caused a major ‘mountain tsunami’ and much devastation and loss of life. Many homes and shops were simply washed away with some people barely escaping with their lives. Roads were washed out in 56 places locally and many other local towns were hit badly as well.

Thankfully, most people could find safety. But, some unfortunately a few, mostly elderly, did not. At this time we have confirmed 13 fatalities and 1 missing person in Shingu. The damage to public roads and private property was immense. Many people lost their homes and all their belongings some without sufficient disaster insurance. So, they must rely on community support and the generosity of their friends and neighbours, and people like you!

We are very grateful for all the kind letters and offers of financial assistance from our Sister City friends in Santa Cruz and Natori and our many friends around the world.

If you would like to offer financial support please click HERE for instructions.

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