The Fiji Times


- ■ AP

TOKYO — Helicopter­s plucked people from their flooded homes on Sunday as rescue efforts went into full force in wide areas of Japan after a powerful typhoon unleashed heavy rainfall on Tokyo and surroundin­g areas, leaving seven dead and 15 missing.

Typhoon Hagibis made landfall south of Tokyo on Saturday and moved northward. More than 100 people were also injured in its wake, according to public broadcaste­r NHK.

News footage showed a rescue helicopter hovering in a flooded area in Nagano prefecture where an embankment of the Chikuma River broke, and streams of water were continuing to spread over residentia­l areas.

The chopper plucked those stranded on the second floor of a home submerged in muddy waters. Aerial footage showed tractors at work trying to control the flooding. Meanwhile, rows of Japan’s prized bullet trains, parked in a facility, were sitting in a pool of water.

A stretch of Fukushima, in the city of Date, was also flooded with only rooftops of residentia­l homes visible in some areas. Parts of nearby Miyagi prefecture were also under water.

The Tama River, which runs by Tokyo, overflowed its banks.

Authoritie­s warned of a risk of mudslides. Among the reported deaths were those whose homes were buried in landslides. Other fatalities included people who got swept away by raging rivers.

Yoshihide Suga, the government spokesman, said 27,000 military troops and other rescue crews were being sent to Nagano and other locations.

He said that damage to housing from the flooding was extensive but promised recovery was on its way.

Some 376,000 homes were without electricit­y, and 14,000 homes lacked running water, Mr Suga said.

Boats as well as helicopter­s were sent to the flooded areas, while rescue crew dug through dirt in other areas to try to get people out from homes buried by landslides.

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