Death Toll Stands at 55 after Typhoon Hagibis Hits Japan
By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
Rescue workers in Japan continued to look for survivors Monday, following a massive typhoon on Saturday. Typhoon Hagibis killed at least 55 people and destroyed homes and other structures, the English language Kyodo News reported Monday.
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It was the largest typhoon to hit Japan in ages.
In September of 2018, a deadly typhoon in southern China forced more than three million people to move to safety.
“Self-Defense Forces personnel, police and firefighters were carrying out [rescue] operations, with 16 people missing and at least 100 injured,” according to Kyoto News.
Typhoon Hagibis Caused 38,000 People to Flee Their Homes
Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency reported that about 38,000 people in 17 prefectures had been forced from their homes by midday Monday. In addition, 3,700 homes were flooded.
The Associated Press said, “Soldiers and firefighters from throughout Japan were deployed to assist with record efforts. Helicopters could be seen plucking some of the stranded from higher floors and rooftops of submerged homes.”
Japan’s Prime Minister to Create Special Disaster Team to Deal with Typhoon’s Aftermath
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced plans to set up a special disaster team composed of various ministry officials to deal with the aftermath of the storm.
“Our response must be rapid and appropriate,” Abe said, stressing that many people remained missing and the damage was extensive.
AP also noted that “Experts said it would take time to accurately assess the extent of the damage, and the casualty count has been growing daily.”
Typhoon Hagibis dropped record amounts of rain that caused more than 20 rivers to overflow. AP noted that in Kanagawa prefecture, southwest of Tokyo, 100 centimeters (39 inches) of rain was recorded over a 48-hour period.
“Some of the muddy waters in streets, fields and residential areas have subsided. But many places remained flooded Monday, with homes and surrounding roads covered in mud and littered with broken wooden pieces and debris,” the AP added. “Some places normally dry still looked like giant rivers.”