Japan deploys troops as Typhoon Hagibis triggers floods, landslides

Updated: Oct 13, 2019, 02:36 PM(IST)

Japan sent tens of thousands of troops and rescue workers on Sunday to save stranded residents and fight floods caused by one of the worst typhoons to hit the country in recent history, which killed 18 people and briefly paralysed Tokyo.

Typhoon Hagibis

At least 18 people were killed and nine others missing after Typhoon Hagibis slammed into Japan, officials said Sunday, as rescuers scrambled to reach people trapped by catastrophic flooding. More than 140 were also reported to be injured in the storm.

(Photograph:Reuters)

'Catstrophic flooding'

By Sunday morning, the significantly weakened storm had moved back off land, but serious flooding was reported in several areas, including central Japan's Nagano, where a burst levee sent water from the Chikuma river gushing into residential neighbourhoods, flooding homes up to the second floor.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Rescue operations are underway

Japan's military deployed 27,000 troops to aid rescue operations, including some in helicopters who winched people from the roofs and balconies of flooded homes in Nagano.

In Kawagoe, northwest of Tokyo, rescue workers in boats were evacuating elderly people from a retirement home that was heavily flooded in the storm.

(Photograph:Reuters)

One of the most violent typhoon in recent years

Hagibis smashed into the main Japanese island of Honshu around 7:00 pm (1000 GMT) Saturday as one of the most violent typhoons in recent years, with wind gusts of up to 216 kilometres per hour (134 miles per hour).

(Photograph:Reuters)

Daily life affected

More than 160,000 homes were still without power by Sunday afternoon, with around 1,000 in Chiba, east of Tokyo, also experiencing water outages, national broadcaster NHK said.

At the storm's peak, more than seven million people were placed under non-compulsory evacuation orders, with tens of thousands heeding the call and moving into government shelters.

(Photograph:AFP)

Travel chaos in holiday weekend

The storm also brought travel chaos during a long holiday weekend in Japan, with flights grounded and both local and bullet trains serving Tokyo suspended fully or partially.

On Sunday, train services were resuming and operations were slowly restarting at the two airports serving the capital, although many flights were cancelled.

(Photograph:AFP)

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