Rescues underway as multiple natural disasters rock Japan
TOKYO — Helicopters plucked people from their flooded homes on Sunday as rescue efforts went into full force in wide areas of Japan, including Tokyo, after a powerful typhoon unleashed heavy rainfall, leaving at least four dead and 17 missing.
Typhoon Hagibis made landfall south of Tokyo Saturday and moved northward. More than 100 people were also injured in its wake, according to public broadcaster NHK, as the numbers kept growing.
News footage showed a rescue helicopter hovering in a flooded area in Nagano prefecture where an embankment of the Chikuma River broke. The chopper plucked those stranded on the second floor of a home submerged in muddy waters.
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 .
Some 286,000 homes were without electricity. Several train service in the Tokyo area resumed early morning, although others were undergoing safety checks and were expected to restart later Sunday.
The authorities had repeatedly warned Hagibis was on par with a typhoon that hit the Tokyo region in 1958. The typhoon six decades ago had left more than 1,200 people dead and half a million houses flooded.