The Izu island chain south of Tokyo was pummeled by Typhoon No. 15 on Sept. 9. Houses and school buildings on Izu-Oshima island remain severely damaged. (Masashi Nishimura)

Days after Typhoon No. 15 struck the Kanto region, Hisae Sakaki was still struggling to come to grips with the damage to her island home in the Pacific Ocean.

Dirt and wood debris remained scattered about her house. Sunlight poked in through areas that used to be the roof.

“I don’t know if I can continue to live in this house,” Sakaki, 81, muttered disconsolately on the afternoon of Sept. 13.

Residents of the Izu island chain south of Tokyo are fighting an uphill battle in bringing their lives back to normal since the typhoon swept through on Sept. 9.

The typhoon severed power and water supplies to the islands.

But the biggest hurdle islanders now face is overcoming the shortages of materials needed to repair the hundreds of damaged houses and buildings on the islands.

Businesses fear that the damage might seriously hurt tourism, a key industry in the chain.

More than 600 buildings were damaged on at least six islands, including Izu-Oshima, the largest in the chain, located 120 kilometers from the capital.

Sakaki, a resident of the Sasikiji district in the southern part of Izu-Oshima, was alone in her house when the typhoon struck in the wee hours of Sept. 9. She heard the rumbling of the strong wind and the creaking of her roof. The next moment, the roof was blown off.

When the sun rose, Sakaki saw that her house was flooded and its inner structure exposed.

But perhaps most devastating was the disappearance of the mortuary tablets of her husband and other family members enshrined at a Buddhist altar.

Since the disaster, Sakaki has stayed at a vacant house nearby.

At the campus of Tokyo Metropolitan Oshima Kaiyo Kokusai High School, located in the southern part of Izu-Oshima, the typhoon wind smashed about 180 windows in classrooms and the gymnasium.

“I want more people to know about the damage on Izu-Oshima,” Yasuhiro Miyoshi, the 49-year-old vice principal of the high school, said.

A school building facing the ocean was hit the hardest. Water mixed with broken glass flooded all classrooms in the building.

Classes are expected to resume next week, using less-damaged buildings and dormitory facilities. But the school has canceled the annual cultural festival that was scheduled from Sept. 21 to 23.

Tourism, a key industry for the island, has been hit hard by the typhoon.

September is the second busiest month for tourism in Izu-Oshima because many university students still on summer vacation seek to enjoy the beaches, volcanic landscapes and nature there.

“I didn’t expect the typhoon damage would be this big,” said Iwahito Shirai, president of Hotel Shiraiwa, located in the Motomachi district in the central part of the island.

A hot-and-cold water tank on the hotel’s rooftop was blown onto the parking lot during the typhoon. More than half of the bathrooms in the 33-room hotel became out of order.

Shirai, 64, said a group of around 20 canceled reservations for next week. But he said that less than 10 percent of bookings had been scrapped.

“I want many visitors to come to the island. That will surely encourage the typhoon victims,” Shirai said.

Each island in the Izu chain suffered a wide range of damage from Typhoon No. 15, particularly in coastal areas.

In Niijima island, 40 kilometers south of Izu-Oshima, the typhoon damaged about 400 houses, mainly to walls and roofs, according to Niijima village officials.

Kazumasa Umeda, 52, who runs an electric installation company, has been busy since the disaster fixing broken water pipes and short circuits.

Umeda said his parents’ house and storage facility on Shikinejima island, another island in the chain, were damaged and lost their roofs. But he has yet to be able to help them repair that damage.

“I think this whirlwind will continue for a while,” Umeda said.

Residents of Izu-Oshima still remember the devastation from Typhoon No. 26 in October 2013. Torrential rain caused a landslide, and the storm left 36 people dead and three missing.

Since that disaster, work has been under way in the hard-hit Motomachi district to minimize future damage, including widening a channel to prevent flooding.

Elsewhere on the island, around 70 volunteers, most of whom are residents themselves, were helping to clean up damaged houses and remove debris on Sept. 14.

Satoko Yanase, 22, who works at a company on Izu-Oshima island, joined the effort.

When Typhoon No. 26 hit the island six years ago, Yanase was a first-year student at Tokyo Metropolitan Oshima Hish School.

“It has bothered me that I couldn’t be of help for other islanders at the time,” she said. “This time, I want to provide a big assistance to Oshima that I love very much.”

According to the Oshima town officials, electricity and water supplies have been restored to most areas of the island.

But the islanders still face shortages of materials, such as tarps, and workers with the skills needed to repair the 150 to 200 damaged houses, the officials said.

Thunderstorms are forecast for parts of the Izu island chain on Sept. 15.

Yasuko Okiyama, 78, who lives alone near Habu Port on Izu-Oshima island, looked nervous.

The roof of her house was blown off by the typhoon, and she made a quick fix by using sheets of tin.

“(The typhoon) was horrendous, and I felt more dead than alive. I am very fearful,” Okiyama said.