Sunday, September 4, 2011

Strong typhoon Talas moves north along Sea of Japan, 5 missing in landslide - 4th Sept 2011

Five people went missing early Sunday after their houses in Wakayama Prefecture were swept away by a landslide caused by a powerful typhoon that made landfall Saturday on Shikoku Island in the region, local police said.

Three women in their 30s to 80s and two male high school students went missing after an apparent landslide swept away six homes in the city of Tanabe, the police said, adding that a 14-year-old girl was rescued at the site and was taken to a nearby hospital.

Mudslide blocked part of a road in the city, isolating 308 people in 193 households, while in the town of Minabe in the prefecture, Yoshifumi Hata, 28, died after being rescued by firefighters and police officers. He had gone missing when his home was swept away in a mudslide early Sunday, according to the police.

The death toll came to seven and the number of people missing in the disaster stood at 30 as of Sunday noon, according to a Kyodo News poll.

Meanwhile, two-thirds of a 39-meter long iron bridge over the Nachi River in the town of Nachikatsuura in Wakayama collapsed and was washed away in the swollen river. The bridge serves JR West's Kise Line, but no injury has been reported as the train operator had halted all of its operations on the line as the typhoon was approaching.

The government said Sunday it has decided to dispatch a team of investigators within the day to grasp the scale of damage in the prefecture hard hit by the natural disaster. Read More