TOKYO – The death toll in a powerful typhoon that hit Japan over the weekend mounted to 68 on Tuesday as rescue teams continued searching for at least 15 missing people.
Severe flooding by record rains brought by Hagibis, the worst typhoon to struck Japan for decades, has complicated rescue efforts and prevented the authorities from taking stock of material and human damage.
The central prefectures of Fukushima and Nagano were the worst affected by the floods on Sunday.
More than 3,400 people, who were evacuated from their homes in the two regions, continued in temporary shelters, state-owned broadcaster NHK reported on Tuesday.
Most of the deaths and the number of missing people were reported from these regions as well as in Miyagi.
The three prefectures accounted for most of the 47 river overflows caused by the passage of Hagibis.
The typhoon also triggered nearly 150 landslides in different parts of the country, destroyed bridges and roads.
Power and water supplies were also snapped in several areas, especially near rivers and canals.
Some 133,000 homes remained without water on Tuesday, according to health ministry data.
Another 35,000 remained without electricity, TEPCO power company said.
Most of the country’s rail networks were running normally on Tuesday.
But the high-speed link connecting Tokyo and Kanazawa (centre), whose trains were flooded and damaged, was still shut. The service would take some time to repair, according to its operator, East JR.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday that the government would use state funds kept for natural calamities to rebuild affected areas and provide assistance to victims, given that the impact of the disaster would be prolonged, according to Kyodo agency.