Source - AP News
YURI KAGEYAMA, Associated Press
Updated 08:08 a.m., Sunday, September 4, 2011
TOKYO (AP) — Heavy rains and mudslides from powerful Typhoon Talas left at least 20 people dead in Japan on Sunday as it moved slowly northward past the country's western coast. At least 50 others were missing, local media said.
Evacuation orders and advisories were issued to 460,000 people in western and central Japan. At least 3,600 people were stranded by flooded rivers, landslides and collapsed bridges that were hampering rescue efforts, Kyodo News agency reported.
The typhoon dumped record amounts of rain in some areas. It was the country's worst storm since one in 2004 that left 98 people either dead or missing, the Yomiuri newspaper said.
Talas damaged Nijojo castle in the ancient city of Kyoto, tearing a large piece of plaster from the gate wall. The castle, a popular tourist destination, is designated an important cultural treasure.
Public broadcaster NHK showed a bridge swept away after intense rain caused a river to swell with brown torrents. People holding umbrellas waded through knee-deep water in city streets and residential areas. Cars were washed away.
The center of the season's 12th typhoon was moving slowly north across the Sea of Japan off the country's west coast, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
It crossed the southern island of Shikoku and the central part of the main island of Honshu overnight Saturday.
That area is hundreds of miles (kilometers) from Japan's tsunami-ravaged northeastern coast.
Because of the storm's slow speed, the agency warned that heavy rains and strong winds were likely to continue and could cause more flooding and landslides. It issued landslide warnings in nearly all of the country's prefectures.
Fears were growing of additional damage from more mudslides because the ground was already soaked.
Three homes were buried in a landslide in Wakayama prefecture. One woman whose identity was still being confirmed died, four remained missing and a 14-year old girl was saved from the debris, police said.
Overall in the hard-hit prefecture, 10 people were dead and 32 people were missing, they said.
Seven people were reported missing in nearby Nara prefecture after their homes were swept down a river, NHK said.
Among the dead was a woman who appeared to be in her 30s whose body was found in a river in Ehime prefecture on Shikoku, police said.
A 73-year-old man in Nara prefecture died after a landslide caused his house to collapse, police said.
Typhoon kills 20 in Japan, over 50 missing
Source - AFP
September 5, 2011 - 1:04AM
A typhoon that pummelled western Japan left at least 20 people dead and more than 50 missing, reports said on Sunday, after swollen rivers swept away buildings and landslides crushed houses.
One of the victims drowned after floodwaters gushed into his car and streets were submerged in scenes that rekindled memories of the March 11 tsunami disaster. Thousands of people were left stranded.
Typhoon Talas, which made landfall on Saturday and is one of the deadliest in recent years, packed gusts of up to 108km/h as it cut across the island of Shikoku and the main island of Honshu.
The government set up an emergency task force as the number of victims looked set to grow and landslides and damaged roads hampered relief efforts.
In Wakayama prefecture, 12 people were killed and 29 were missing.
In Nara prefecture's Totsukawa village, an overflowing river washed away apartments, leaving at least two people dead and seven missing, the local government said.
In the Kansai region and elsewhere up to 30,000 people were evacuated, according to the fire and disaster management agency.
Television footage showed massive landslides crushing wooden houses in mountainous communities, with muddy water submerging streets and washing away wooden debris and cars.
A tally by the Kyodo news agency showed at least 20 people had been killed, more than 50 were missing and 3600 were left stranded by landslides and collapsed bridges.
Jiji Press also said 20 people had been killed.
The powerful storm had slowly moved north into the Sea of Japan (East Sea), the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
However, it warned of more mudslides in the western region where massive rainfall - more than 180cm in some areas - had been recorded since Tuesday night.
According to agency data a typhoon which hit Japan in October, 2004 left 98 people dead or missing, while a storm in September the same year left 46 people dead or missing.
As if Japan didn't have enough shit to deal with...