Japan did NOT need this...

Today`s article from the Japan Times...

Rescuers expect death toll to rise

20 dead, 55 missing in Talas' wake


A powerful typhoon that hit the Kinki and Shikoku regions passed into the Sea of Japan Sunday after leaving at least 20 people dead and 55 missing in six prefectures.

The dead included 12 in Wakayama Prefecture and three more in Nara Prefecture.

The figures could rise when rescue efforts — disrupted by damaged roads and other factors in some typhoon-hit areas, mainly in the Kii Peninsula of Wakayama Prefecture — resume, local authorities said.

Typhoon Talas had crossed Okayama and Tottori prefectures by Sunday afternoon, moving into the Sea of Japan.

But the Meteorological Agency still called for vigilance, noting the slow-moving typhoon could bring heavy rains to western Japan, possibly causing more mudslides and flooding.

In four towns in Wakayama, including Nachikatsuura and Shingu, more than 3,600 people in 37 areas had been cut off in isolated pockets of the prefecture as of Sunday night, it was learned.

Seven people went missing in Shingu and 13 in Nachikatsuura.

In the Fudono area of Tanabe, Wakayama Prefecture, a landslide at around 12:40 a.m. Sunday destroyed six houses and left three women in their 30s to 80s and two high school boys missing. A 14-year-old girl was rescued at the site and taken to a nearby hospital.

Two-thirds of a 39-meter-long iron bridge over the Nachi River in the town of Nachikatsuura collapsed and was washed away in the swollen river. The bridge serves JR West's Kise Line, but no injuries were reported as the train operator halted all of its operations on the line.

In Gojo, Nara Prefecture, Chieko Nishimori, 67, died when a nearby river flooded 10 houses.

In Totsukawa, also in Nara, seven went missing after two houses were washed away by a muddy stream. Mika Oka, 36, was rescued from the area but later died at a local hospital.

Saturday's rain at the village was 591.5 mm, a record high for a single day in the area.

In Tokushima Prefecture, the body of Sumako Sogabe, 75, was found on a riverbank after she was swept away early Saturday morning while on her way to an evacuation center near her home in Miyoshi.

In Hiroshima Prefecture, the body of Masamori Hatate, 90, of Onomichi was found on the shore in Fukuyama after he went missing Saturday when he went out to secure his boat, according to local police.

Local police and firefighters continued searching for seven people who went missing after their houses were destroyed when the Kumano River overflowed its banks in the village of Totsukawa.

The typhoon also damaged Nijo Castle in Kyoto, dislodging a 1.5 meter by 1 meter piece of plaster from the wall of one of the gates.

The castle has been designated by the government as an important cultural property.



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