Typhoon Hagibis: People buried in landslides and swept away by rivers

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Ten people are dead and 16 missing after Typhoon Hagibis pounded Japan’s capital city of Tokyo and its surrounding prefectures.

Those killed were in the Chiba, Gunma, Kanagawa and Fukushima prefectures, with some buried in landslides and others swept away by flooded rivers.

Local media reports said up to 100 people were injured.

Image: The Chikuma river was among the ones that flooded. Pic: Kyodo

The most powerful typhoon to hit Japan in more than 60 years arrived on Saturday night and brought heavy rain, resulting in millions of homes being evacuated.

The resort town of Hakone was hit with 939.5 mm (37 inches) of rain in just 24 hours.

Several rivers overflowed, including the Tama near Tokyo, and the Chikuma River in Nagano prefecture burst its banks.

About 1.5 million people live below sea level in Tokyo and many residents were forced to climb onto the roofs of their houses to escape the rising water.

A Shinkansen bullet train rail yard is seen flooded due to heavy rains caused by Typhoon Hagibis in Nagano, central Japan, October 13, 2019. Pic: Kyodo

Image: Shinkansen bullet trains were stuck in water at their yard in Nagano

Japan’s chief government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said: “The major typhoon has caused immense damage far and wide in eastern Japan.”

Almost 400,000 homes are without electricity and 14,000 do not have running water.

Local residents clean up a flooded street in the aftermath of Typhoon Hagibis in Kawasaki on October 13, 2019

Image: The clean-up begins in Kawasaki, an industrial city in the Greater Tokyo area

Boats and helicopters have been deployed and 27,000 rescue workers and military troops are helping the rescue and recovery effort.

Japan’s meteorological agency had issued the highest alert level for 12 prefectures but these were lifted early on Sunday as the typhoon moved northwards.

Two Rugby World Cup matches were cancelled on Saturday but, while Sunday’s match between Namibia and Canada remained cancelled, the Japan-Scotland game was due to go ahead.

Firefighters patrol on a flooded road due to heavy rains caused by Typhoon Hagibis at Ota ward in Tokyo, Japan, October 12, 2019, in this photo taken by Kyodo Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. JAPAN OUT.

Image: Roads were flooded in Japan’s capital city of Tokyo. Pic: Kyodo

Formula One Grand Prix organisers had cancelled Saturday’s events but they also confirmed Sunday would run as scheduled.

Japan cancelled Monday’s maritime fleet review which was last held four years ago and was to include 46 naval vessels and 40 aircraft, including some from Australia, India, the US, Canada, Singapore and Britain.

Tokyo’s shinkansen trains were expected to run again from Sunday and the city’s subway is also operating.

Hagibis – which means “speed” in Tagalog, a Filipino language – is expected to head out to sea on Sunday evening.

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