Flooding, mudslides as typhoon batters Japan

Rescue workers in Japan have warned of mudslides and flooding after one of the biggest storms in recent decades battered the country.

Typhoon Nanmadol killed at least four people and injured more than 100 others after making landfall on the southern island of Kyushu on Sunday morning.

By Tuesday, 140,000 homes were still without electricity.

The storm has now been downgraded to a cyclone, after moving across much of the country and heading out to sea.

State broadcaster, NHK, said one man was killed when his car was submerged in flooding, and another died after being buried in a landslide. Two more people were found “without vital signs”, a term often used to refer to a death before it is certified by a coroner. At least 114 people have been injured, 14 of them seriously.

The super typhoon brought gusts of up to 234km/h (145mph), destroying homes, and disrupting transport and businesses. It is equivalent to a category four or five hurricane.

The capital, Tokyo, experienced heavy rain, with the Tozai underground line suspended because of flooding. Bullet train services, ferries and hundreds of flights have been cancelled; shops and businesses have shut down. Local video footage showed roofs ripped off buildings and billboards toppled over.

Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, delayed a visit to New York where he was due to give a speech at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, until Tuesday, to monitor the storm’s impact.

Scientists have predicted an active hurricane season this year, influenced by a natural phenomenon known as La Niña.

Warmer sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic and Caribbean as a result of climate change may also impact the frequency and intensity of hurricanes.

Japan has been hit by its most powerful storm in a quarter of a century. Typhoon Jebi has raked the west of the country, killing at least 10 people and leaving a trail of destruction to infrastructure.

Blackouts have been reported due to cut power lines, with the storm closing business and schools in affected areas. Emergency teams will have their work cut out to restore services. Japan is regularly hit by typhoons. -BBC

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