Helicopters, boats and thousands of troops were deployed across Japan on Sunday to rescue people stranded in flooded homes as the death toll from a ferocious typhoon climbed to at least 25 with more than a dozen missing.
Public broadcaster NHK said 14 rivers across the nation had flooded, some spilling out in more than one spot.
The casualty toll was compiled by Kyodo News service and was higher than one given by the government spokesman earlier on Sunday, a day after Typhoon Hagibis made landfall south of Tokyo and battered central and northern Japan with torrents of rain and powerful gusts of wind. “The major typhoon has caused immense damage far and wide in eastern Japan,” government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters, adding that 27,000 military troops and other rescue crews were taking part in the operation.
News footage showed a rescue helicopter hovering in a flooded area in Nagano prefecture where an embankment of the Chikuma River broke, and streams of water were continuing to spread over residential areas. The chopper plucked those stranded on the second floor of a home submerged in muddy waters. Aerial footage showed tractors at work trying to control the flooding and several people on a rooftop, with one waving white cloth to get the attention of a helicopter. Nearby was a child’s school bag.—INP