Thu, Sep 08, 2005 - Page 5 News List

Typhoon leaves 11 dead in Japan

DEADLY Eleven people were killed in mudslides and flooding after Typhoon Nabi hit southern Japan on Tuesday, with 14 still unaccounted for, police said

AP , TOKYO

A powerful tropical storm churned northward in the sea between Japan and the Korean Peninsula yesterday, leaving landslides and flooded towns in its wake. At least 11 people were killed and 14 others were missing, including two in South Korea, officials said.

The storm was headed toward Japan's northern island of Hokkaido, where up to 25cm of rain was expected by early today, the Meteorological Agency said.

Typhoon Nabi slammed into southern Japan on Tuesday, flooding towns and driving more than 300,000 people from their homes. About 1,500 soldiers were deployed to fortify coastal defenses and help in the rescue effort.

It lost strength yesterday as it roiled over the Sea of Japan and was downgraded to a tropical storm. But it still was churning winds of up to 108km per hour, the agency said.

Mudslides

Local police said at least 10 people were killed in mudslides and flooding, while 14 were unaccounted for. Kyodo News agency reported its own toll of 11 dead and 14 missing.

A search operation continued for three people missing after part of a major road collapsed and crushed nearby houses in Yamaguchi prefecture early yesterday, prefectural official Yoshimasa Mima said.

More than 70,000 homes, mainly on Kyushu island, were still without electricity yesterday afternoon, power companies said.

Japan Airlines and its affiliates canceled 47 flights yesterday morning, while All Nippon Airlines grounded 43 flights, affecting almost 12,000 people. Flights returned to normal in the afternoon, the two companies said.

In Shikoku, the storm brought rain to a region that had seen its water supply dissipate to critical levels over the last few weeks.

Water levels at Sameura Dam, which fell to zero percent last week and prompted officials to divert water normally used to generate electricity to local communities, rose to 100 percent after heavy rains yesterday, a dam official said on condition of anonymity, citing government policy.

Nabi, meaning butterfly in the Korean language, also caused damage in South Korea, dumping up to 35cm of rain in southern and eastern parts of the country from Monday through to yesterday morning.

Korea Peninsula

One person was missing after being swept away by a swollen stream in Ulsan, about 410km southeast of Seoul, on Tuesday. Another was missing after his car slipped off a rain-slickened road in Gyeongju, about 370km southeast of Seoul, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said.

About 2,330 police and firefighters were carrying out recovery work in Ulsan, one of the hardest-hit cities, it said.

High waves caused a 4,920 tonne Vietnamese cargo ship, Long Xuyen, to run aground near the southeastern port city of Pohang, Yonhap said. Its 22 crew members were safe, it said.

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