Japan beefed up relief and rescue operations on Monday after one of the most powerful typhoons to hit the country in decades, but the rescue efforts were being hampered by flooding and landslides.
The death toll from Typhoon Hagibis has risen to 56, with 15 people still missing and more than 200 injured, broadcaster NHK reported, after the typhoon dumped record rainfall across wide areas of Japan on Saturday.
Weather authorities have forecast more rain in disaster-stricken areas, warning of flooding, mudslides and swollen rivers.
Residents were removing debris and mud from houses and stores in some of the affected areas as the flood waters receded.
Hagibis flooded about 7,000 houses and 800 of them were heavily damaged, NHK estimated.
Recovery efforts face big challenges as 37 river banks have collapsed, about 140 more rivers have overflowed and dozens of landslides have cut off road links, the report said.
“We are in a hilly and mountainous area, so we have seen quite a few landslides following the typhoon, which cut off roads,” said Seiju Sugeno, an organic farmer in Nihonmatsu in Fukushima prefecture.
Some of his rice fields were also damaged by a landslide, he added.
Two people died in the city of Nihonmatsu after a landslide struck their house late Saturday, local media reported.
“We have never seen this much rain in just two days,” Sugeno said.
According to NHK, nearly half of the 56 deaths were in the prefectures of Miyagi and Fukushima, which bore the brunt of Japan’s 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.
DPA, 14th OCTOBER, 2019