Dozens dead or missing after Typhoon Hagibis hits Japan

More than a dozen people were dead and as many were missing after Typhoon Hagibis (meaning ‘swift’ in Tagalog) struck northern Japan late on Saturday, reports say.

Among the missing were eight people from a cargo ship that sank on Saturday night in Tokyo Bay. Of the five crew members rescued, one died.

Just before the typhoon made landfall on Japan’s main island of Honshu around 7 pm,it overturned a van killing the driver.

Hours later, more than a dozen people were killed in floods or landslides. Some of the victims were found dead in flooded canals or trapped in submerged cars or homes.

Chikuma, Tama and Abukuma rivers flooded Nagano, Tokyo and Fukushima cities respectively leaving residents stranded.

Rain warnings by Met to 13 prefectures including Tokyo from Saturday to early Sunday averted more deaths.

Rescuers, including more than 25,000 defence personnel, were searching for people trapped in floods and landslides.

Hundreds of people were marooned in the city of Nakano in Nagano Prefecture after a portion of the embankment of the Chikuma River broke. Among those affected were people of a residential facility for elders.

Although some 1,400 people living in more than 400 households in Nakano were given evacuation orders, it was not clear how many people left the city.   

Defence personnel used helicopters to airlift stranded residents in Nakano.

Bullet trains remained partially submerged at a depot in Nagano.

Some 80,000 Tokyo residents were evacuated to emergency shelters on Saturday amid warnings of flooding.

In north-eastern Japan, more than 18,000 homes went without power. In Chiba Prefecture in Tokyo’s eastern outskirts, more than 95,000 homes were affected by power outages.

A tornado hit parts of Ichihara in Chiba Prefecture destroying or damaging more than 80 homes.

By Sunday morning, the storm weakened and moved out of land.

Met described Hagibis as one of the most violent typhoons in recent years, with wind gusts of up to 216 kilometres per hour.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who held an emergency cabinet meeting, said his prayers were with the families of the victims and the government was doing its best to save lives and property and restore services as soon as possible.

Tokyo’s Haneda airport resumed operations on Sunday along with some railway services in the Tokyo metropolitan area.