Typhoon Death Toll Reaches 40


Typhoon death toll reaches 40

People in Japan are dealing with the aftermath of Typhoon Hagibis. The death toll stands at 40 as cleanup efforts are underway in many areas.

In addition to the fatalities, 16 people are listed as missing. Another 189 were injured during the weekend storm.

Meteorological officials say up to 40 percent of the yearly rainfall was recorded in only a day or two in many areas.

Japan's Land and Transport Ministry reports levees along 21 rivers collapsed. Among them, the Chikuma River in Nagano Prefecture, northwest of Tokyo. Roads are completely submerged with muddy water.

Houses across the region were flooded with two to three meters of water. "I have no idea how to sweep away this mud. It is a real problem," said one resident.

A railway bridge collapsed into the river and floodwaters disrupted railway services. A maintenance depot for the Hokuriku Shinkansen bullet train line was flooded.

East Japan Railway reports 10 trains, with a total of 120 carriages, were damaged by an estimated four meters of water.

A nursing care facility in Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo, was flooded. More than 220 residents and staff were at risk, but caregivers acted quickly.

"We started evacuating the residents right after seeing bubbles of water popping up from under the floor," one of the caregivers said.

As the evacuation to higher ground was underway, the power went out and elevators shut down. Workers had to carry the residents upstairs and managed to ensure everyone escaped unharmed.

In Fukushima prefecture, a woman in her 70s fell during a helicopter rescue and died after rescuers forgot to secure a safety harness.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is ordering officials to help more than 30,000 evacuees.

Abe said, "A government task force has been created to support local residents. We aim to quickly restore electricity and water supply."

He went on to say, "We will assess what the evacuees need and provide water, food and makeshift beds to make sure they are comfortable. We will also send officials to support local governments and temporary accommodation facilities."

Abe says about 200 pumper trucks are being deployed to drain flooded areas.

Relief efforts are ongoing as the full extent of the damage gets assessed. More rain is expected to fall on Monday afternoon in affected areas. Authorities are urging people to remain cautious near swollen rivers and be on the alert for possible landslides.