Gusts of nearly 200 km / h, heavy rains, landslides, floods: Typhoon Hagibis has caused death and destruction in central and eastern Japan. Tens of thousands of rescuers were still looking for survivors Monday, October 13, while about thirty people were killed.
The Japanese media has at least 35 dead and, according to the Kyodo news agency, nearly 20 people are still missing. The government figures, which date from Sunday night, are lower and were to be revised Monday.
People have been buried in landslides, drowned in their homes or in their vehicles washed away. In the central region of Nagano in particular, a dike dropped, discharging the waters of the Chikuma River into a residential area whose homes were flooded to the second floor.
Helicopters hoisted refugee residents on their balconies or rooftops. One of these operations Sunday in the northeastern region of Fukushima turned to tragedy when a septuagenarian made a 40-meter fatal drop as she was being evacuated by the air.
The television channels also showed soldiers rowing in a rubber boat in a flooded commune in the Fukushima area, while everywhere in the affected areas, workers and residents were clearing mud mountains.
Typhoon victims include crew members of a cargo ship that sank Saturday night into the raging waters of Tokyo Bay. "Twelve crew members were on board and five Chinese were found dead," a coastguard official told AFP. Four other crew members were saved and searches resumed Monday to find the last three missing.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe promised that the government would do "everything possible". "Do your best," he told a crisis meeting Sunday night. "The absolute priority is to save lives."
"This victory, it's up to you guys"
Tens of thousands of people were in shelters, without guarantee of being able to return to their homes soon. Some 57,500 households in the country were still without electricity on Monday morning, and about 120,000 had no access to safe drinking water.
Hagibis paralyzed transportation in the greater Tokyo area over the weekend extended by a holiday Monday, but most rail and air links resumed Monday.
The storm also caused the cancellation of three Rugby World Cup matches, organized in the Japanese archipelago. However the decisive match between Japan and Scotland was held Sunday night, and the national team brought some comfort to the country by winning a brilliant victory (28-21), propelling it into the quarterfinals of the tournament for the first time in its history.
A minute of silence was observed in the stadium before kick-off, and the Japan team dedicated its victory to the victims of the typhoon. "To all who have suffered the typhoon, this is your victory," said team captain Michael Leitch.