(By Simon Denyer, Washington Post)
TOKYO – Japan dispatched tens of thousands of troops and rescue workers Sunday after a typhoon unleashed widespread flooding and left 35 people dead and 17 missing…
Typhoon Hagibis, which means “speed” in the Philippine language Tagalog, tore through Tokyo and large swaths of Japan’s main island of Honshu on Saturday, bringing record-breaking rains to many areas.
By Sunday, more than 20 rivers in central and northeastern Japan had burst their banks, flooding more than 1,000 homes in cities, towns and villages.
At one point, the government advised nearly 8 million people to evacuate. Many ignored the advice and stayed home, but others headed to shelters. Public broadcaster NHK said some died while trying to make their way to shelters, including a 77-year-old woman who fell more than 100 feet to her death during an airlift.
The storm sank a Panama-registered cargo ship anchored near Tokyo, killing at least five crew members and leaving three missing, according to local media reports.
About 200,000 homes were without power on Sunday, Japanese media reported.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe set a task force to deal with the damage and dispatched the minister in charge of disaster management to the worst-affected areas.
“I extend my condolences for all those who lost their lives and offer my sympathy to all those impacted by the typhoon,” he said. “The government will do everything in its power to cooperate with relevant agencies and operators working to restore services as soon as possible.”
Winds near the centre of the typhoon reached 90 mph shortly after it made landfall on the Izu Peninsula not far from Tokyo on Saturday evening, with gusts over 120 mph. But rather than the wind, it was the rains drenching Honshu all day that caused the most concern.
The storm brought life in Tokyo to a standstill on Saturday, but the rain had stopped by midnight, and there was nothing more than a light wind. Residents woke Sunday to blue skies, and life in the capital mostly returned to normal.
At least 800 flights out of Tokyo’s two main airports were cancelled Sunday, but flights were operating on Sunday evening and train services resumed their regular schedules.
The typhoon disrupted the Rugby World Cup. Two matches in Yokohama just outside Tokyo were cancelled Saturday, and a third, between Canada and Namibia in Kamaishi in northeastern Japan, in the direction the storm had travelled, was cancelled Sunday.
But the eagerly awaited clash between host Japan and Scotland went ahead in Yokohama, with Japan exciting a raucous crowd with a 28-21 victory, putting it through to the quarterfinals of the tournament for the first time.
The stadium observed a minute’s silence before the game for victims of the typhoon. Canadian players volunteered to help clean up Kamaishi.
Click page 2 below for more images of the aftermath of Typhoon Hagibis…
Author: ANA Newswire