Typhoon Hagibis leaves dozens dead in Japan
Authorities have warned more mudslides are possible with further rain forecast.
Rescue crews in Japan are digging through mudslides and searching for missing people following a typhoon that has left dozens dead.
Typhoon Hagibis unleashed torrents of rain and strong winds on Saturday that left thousands of homes on Japan’s main island flooded, damaged or without power.
Authorities warned more mudslides were possible with rain forecast for the affected area during the day on Monday.
Kyodo News service, assembling information from a wide network, counted 36 deaths caused by the typhoon with 16 people missing. The official count from the Fire and Disaster Management Agency was 19 dead and 13 missing.
Hagibis dropped record amounts of rain for a period in some spots, according to meteorological officials, causing more than 20 rivers to overflow. In Kanagawa Prefecture, southwest of Tokyo, 100 centimetres of rainfall was recorded over the last 48 hours.
Some of the muddy waters in streets, fields and residential areas have subsided. But many places remained flooded, with homes and surrounding roads covered in mud and littered with broken wooden pieces and debris. Some places normally dry still looked like rivers.
Some who lined up for morning soup at evacuation shelters, which are housing 30,000 people, expressed concern about the homes they had left behind. Survivors and rescuers will also face colder weather with northern Japan turning chilly this week.
Rescue efforts were in full force with soldiers and firefighters from throughout Japan deployed. Helicopters could be seen plucking some of the stranded from higher floors and rooftops of submerged homes.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government will set up a special disaster team, including officials from various ministries, to deal with the fallout from the typhoon, including helping those in evacuation centres and boosting efforts to restore water and electricity to homes.
Mr Abe said: “Our response must be rapid and appropriate.”
Damage was serious in Nagano prefecture, where an embankment of the Chikuma River broke. Areas in Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures in northern Japan were also badly flooded.