Typhoon in Japan raises death toll to 51, missing 59 persons


The death toll from Typhoon Talas that strikes western Japan over the weekend rose to 51 in nine prefectures and the number of missing totaled 59, according to a Kyodo News tally based on announcements by local governments.

The total number of dead or missing has risen to 104—the final toll could surpass that from Typhoon Tokage, which left a total of 98 people dead or missing in October 2004. A total of around 2,500 persons remained cut off in Nara and Wakayama prefectures as of Tuesday afternoon, while work to restore water and power supplies in affected areas was blocked owing to severed roads following the powerful typhoon.

Torrential rain fell in northern Japan including Hokkaido, prompting the Japan Meteorological Agency to warn of landslides and flooding.Tatsuo Hirano, disaster management minister, visited Wakayama Prefecture, telling reporters, “We will do our utmost to search for and rescue those who remain missing.”

Meanwhile, Takeshi Maeda, minister of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism, visited the city of Gojo in Nara Prefecture and said, “We must find those missing as soon as possible above anything else.”

The government of Tenkawa village in Nara on Tuesday instructed 15 people from eight households to evacuate due to the danger of a landslide.

According Japanese sources, around 1,680 households in Nara were without electricity as of Tuesday afternoon, while water outages continued across extensive areas. In Wakayama, more than 20,000 phone lines were out of service after cables were damaged, with no clear prospects for repair.

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