26 killed, 18 missing as Typhoon Hagibis wreaks havoc in Japan

Sunday, 2019-10-13 21:41:38
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Residents clear the road after the flood in Tokyo, Japan, October 13, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)
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Japanese authorities have launched a huge operation to provide humanitarian assistance and assess the damage wrought by Typhoon Hagibis after its hurricane-force winds and torrential rain killed over 20 people and sparked major flooding.

At least 26 people are known to have died in the storm and 18 people are still missing in central, eastern and northern areas of the main Honshu island while another 175 were injured, according to the latest figures from rescue agencies and local authorities collected by Japanese media.

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, at least 48 landslides and mudflows have been reported in 12 prefectures, and nine rivers burst their banks. Some 27,000 Self-Defense Force personnel have been mobilized for rescue and relief operations across the country.

Nagano Prefecture was one of the hardest-hit areas as the bank of the Chikuma River collapsed, causing massive flooding in residential areas, with officials of the city of Nagano and neighboring cities calling on residents to take the utmost caution for their safety.

The land ministry estimated that some of those areas may see floodwaters of up to five meters deep. Stranded residents were seen waving from a second floor balcony.

Floodwater also engulfed bullet trains parked at East Japan Railway Co.'s rail yard near Nagano Station. According to the company, 10 trains, with a total of 120 carriages, were damaged, which means one-third of its bullet trains used for the Hokuriku Shinkansen line were damaged by flooding.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government is setting up an emergency taskforce to get the full picture of the damage from Typhoon Hagibis and to take every possible measure to protect people's lives.

Reuters, Xinhua