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Death toll rises to 35 as Typhoon Hagibis lashes Japan

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-10-13 07:20
An aerial view shows a helicopter flying over residential areas flooded by the Chikuma river following Typhoon Hagibis in Nagano, central Japan, October 13, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

TOKYO - At least 35 people have died as Typhoon Hagibis ripped through Japan including the Tokyo metropolitan area, causing multiple rivers to overflow and blackouts in 376,000 houses.

Meanwhile, according to information provided by rescuers and authorities, some 100 people were injured across the country after Typhoon Hagibis, meaning "swift" in the Philippine language Tagalog, made landfall on Japan's main island of Honshu before 7 p.m. local time on Saturday.

Apart from the 376,000 homes that experienced no electricity, 14,000 had no running water after Typhoon Hagibis hit, said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga in a press conference on Sunday.

The government has dispatched some 27,000 Self-Defense Force personnel for rescue and relief operations across the country.

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, at least 48 landslides and mudflows have been reported in 12 prefectures, and embankments of 21 rivers collapsed.

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 5 meters deep, where stranded residents were seen waving from a second floor balcony.

Bullet trains were also seen engulfed by floodwater at East Japan Railway Co.'s railyard near Nagano Station.

According to the company, 10 trains, with a total of 120 carriages, have been confirmed damaged, which means one-third of its bullet trains used for the Hokuriku Shinkansen line have been damaged by flooding.

The Japan Meteorological Agency had issued the highest downpour warning on its one-to-five scale for Tokyo and other 12 prefectures and gradually lifted the warnings at Saturday night. So far the typhoon has weakened to an extratropical cyclone off Japan's northeastern coast.

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