News Column

Typhoon Wipha Kills 17 in Japan

October 16, 2013

EFE Ingles

Tokyo, Oct 16 (EFE).- Typhoon Wipha, one of the most powerful storms to hit Japan in the past decade, on Wednesday left at least 17 people dead and 45 missing amid its strong winds and heavy rain, a situation that caused serious mudslides, flooding and other problems.

The small island of Izu Oshima, located a little over 100 kilometers (62 miles) southeast of Tokyo, was hit the worst, with 16 people losing their lives in the storm, NHK reported.

Despite Wipha's strength, by 3:50 p.m. the storm had been downgraded to a low-intensity extratropical cyclone and it was moving north-northeast at 95 kph (59 mph) with little chance of affecting heavily populated areas in the coming hours.

Meanwhile, on Izu Oshima, where a total of about 8,000 people live, efforts continue to locate the 42 people reported missing on the island as a result of the storm.

Rescue teams found most of the corpses of the dead amid the ruins of dozens of collapsed homes - most of that damage coming from landslides - or at the mouth of a river that overflowed, given that the island registered record levels of rainfall.

Wipha, which did not make landfall on any of Japan's four most populated islands, injured at least 37 people in 16 prefectures around the country, where homes were flooded, landslides occurred and power was out.

The typhoon also affected the capital region, especially early in the day, cutting local and high-velocity train lines, causing flight cancellations - at least 463 domestic and international flights could not land or take off from Tokyo's two main airports - and temporarily closing some highways. EFE

asb/bp

(c) 2013 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc.



Source: (c) 2013 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc.


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