Two days after powerful Typhoon Faxai hit, 450,000 homes in Chiba Prefecture still without power

Some 450,000 households were still without power in Chiba Prefecture on Wednesday as a massive power outage triggered by Typhoon Faxai entered its third day after plans to get them back on the grid were thwarted, Tokyo Electric Power said.

Amid intense heat and a water shortage in the wake of the typhoon, at least two elderly people in the prefecture have died — apparently due to heatstroke — and dozens of others have been taken to hospital with suspected heat exhaustion.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. had hoped to cut the number of households without electricity from 500,000 on Tuesday to 120,000 by Wednesday morning, and to get power to all by the end of Wednesday, but it said thunderstorms have foiled its plan.

Power was restored in Ibaraki and Shizuoka prefectures but some 6,000 households in Kanagawa Prefecture were also still without electricity.

Faxai made landfall near the city of Chiba early Monday, becoming one of the strongest recorded typhoons to hit the Kanto region.

It disrupted major transport networks in the metropolitan area and killed at least three people, while knocking over two transmission towers and a number of utility poles within Chiba Prefecture, leaving about 935,000 households without electricity at one point across a wide area which included Chiba, Ibaraki, Kanagawa and Shizuoka prefectures, and Tokyo.

In Ichihara, Chiba Prefecture, where over 50,000 households still had no power Wednesday, people formed long lines outside of city hall to get water and have their cell phones charged.

Kikuo Kometani, 83, who was one of the people waiting in line, said he came to city hall to get drinking water while he drives about 20 minutes to a water source to get water to flush the toilet. “My grandchild, a university student, studies in a car, and that seems really tough,” he said.

Shigemitsu Sakuma, head of the disaster management section at Ichihara City Hall, said citizens are stressed out over the prolonged power outage. “It would be helpful if we could at least get information on which area of the city will get the power restored first,” Sakuma said.

The mercury across the country soared after the typhoon passed. Kamogawa, in Chiba Prefecture, recorded 35.5 C — its highest temperature of the year — on Tuesday, and it was expected to top 30 C in the prefecture on Wednesday.

Also in Chiba Prefecture more than 200 homes were battered by the typhoon while farmland was also damaged, with rice fields and fruit farms ravaged just before harvest time.

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