Over 36 injured as typhoon Malakas batters Japan
A powerful typhoon slammed into Japan on Tuesday, leaving at least 36 people injured and one missing, as torrential rains caused serious flooding that washed away a bridge and inundated homes and cars.
Transportation across southern Kyushu – hit by deadly quakes earlier this year – and parts of western Japan came to a standstill as Typhoon Malakas ripped across the country, packing winds of up to 180 km per hour.
Television footage from public broadcaster NHK showed houses, cars and fields partly submerged in muddy water in Miyazaki prefecture, where a record 578 mm of rain lashed the city in just 24 hours.
Cars and pedestrians waded through waterlogged streets, while a wall of water washed away a bridge in Kagoshima city.
NHK said at least 36 people were injured, and officials issued evacuation advisories that affected over 620,000 people.
A 66-year-old climber was missing, after he reportedly fell into a swollen river that had breached its banks, local police said, adding that their search was called off due to the bad weather. “We will resume our search tomorrow, if the weather permits,” a police spokesman said.
Power supply was hit in over 114,000 households in Kyushu, which was rocked by a pair of deadly quakes in April this year that had left 50 people dead.
Regional train services came to a standstill and 180 flights were cancelled because of strong winds from the raging storm, which was moving toward Tokyo in the afternoon, with officials warning of high seas, possible landslides and more flooding.
“The winds were really powerful and they rattled windows when the typhoon landed in the city,” said a spokesman for western Tanabe city.
At least half a dozen people had to be rescued from their waterlogged homes by boat.
Big storms regularly strike Japan, with 22 people killed this month when Typhoon Lionrock pounded the country. In 2013 a powerful typhoon that triggered massive landslides on Oshima island killed 40 people, while 82 died after a typhoon hit Japan in 2011.