Monday, 21 October 2013

Frogmen join body hunt as Japan typhoon tolls hit 24

Frogmen were Friday scouring waters off the coast of a Japanese island where landslides buried houses when a huge typhoon rolled through, as the death toll reached 24.

Coastguards joined the grim search for the 26 people still unaccounted for after a mountainside collapsed on the island of Oshima, 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of the Japanese capital.

About 1,000 troops, firefighters and police were continuing their search on land, using shovels to move the huge volumes of earth that had swamped homes, as those affected by the disaster looked on.

“Even if I wanted to rebuild my home now, is it worth it at my age?” said Masako Yanasu, 67, whose guest-house was badly damaged by the landslide.

“I would be dead before it was done,” she told AFP. “I don’t know what to do. Everyone is dead in the neighborhood, everyone I used to know.” A total of 22 people are now known to have died on the island. A woman was also killed in western Tokyo and the body of one of two elementary schoolchildren believed to have been near a beach in Kanagawa when the storm hit had been found, a local official said. The other child and a man in Chiba were still listed as missing.

Typhoon Wipha, the most powerful in ten years, veered up the coast of the Japanese archipelago overnight Tuesday into Wednesday.

The eye of the storm remained offshore but the strong winds and heavy rain that it brought wreaked devastation on Oshima, one of a number of far-flung islands that are administratively part of metropolitan Tokyo.

The island was bracing for bad weather with another typhoon developing off Japan’s far south, threatening weekend rain in the region that could hamper rescue operations.

Monday 21 October 2013


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