Unexploded ordinance from World War 2 blocks Kokusai Street in Naha for one hour, 2,500 people evacuated

Unexploded ordinance from World War 2 blocks Kokusai Street in Naha for one hour, 2,500 people evacuated

A quiet Kokusai Street in Naha City after residents, shop staff and tourists evacuated due to disposal of an unexploded ordinance from World War Two at around 11:10 a.m. on September 23


 

September 24, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo

 

On September 23 at a hotel construction site in a main street full of shops and restaurants in Naha City, an unexploded bomb from the Battle of Okinawa was disposed of.

 

Police blocked roads around the Matsuo intersection including Kokusai Street for about an hour from around 10:20 a.m.

According to Naha City officials, it was the second time unexploded ordinance disposal had been carried out on Kokusai Street since 2004.

 

About 2,500 residents of approximately 1,000 households and employees of around 350 business establishments including hotels, souvenir shops, restaurants and convenience stores located within a 166-meter radius of the disposal site were urged to evacuate.

 

The shops in the evacuation area were temporarily closed during the disposal work.

 

About 100 members of the Naha City Office, the City Fire Department, the Okinawa Prefectural Government, the Naha Police Station and the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force took part in the unexploded ordinance disposal, as well as traffic control and evacuation guidance.

 

The unexploded ordinance was a U.S.-made 50-kilogram bomb, which was discovered on the hotel construction site on August 3.

A bomb-disposal team from the Ground Self Defense Force used a crane to place the unexploded bomb into a hole, which had a diameter of 3 meters and a height of 6 meters, and then removed the bomb’s detonation cord.

 

Shiroma, head of the local emergency response headquarters, said, “We are very worried about the citizens because the area has heavy pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic.

It has been a big challenge for us. I am relieved to be able to finish the task safely.”

 

(English translation by T&CT)

 

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