Typhoon Hagibis: Japan speeds up search and rescue as hopes for missing fades

Japan is conducting a major search and rescue operation after Typhoon Hagibis. The deadly storm brought widespread flooding and landslides, destroying buildings and leaving dozens dead.

Typhoon Hagibis made landfall on Saturday evening local time on the Izu Peninsula, southwest of Tokyo, leaving a trail of destruction on its path.

At least 70 people were killed, with 211 injured and at least 15 people still missing.

More than 110,000 personnel are involved in search and rescue operations, including 13,000 police, 66,000 fire department staff and 31,000 self-defense force staff, chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said in a press conference Monday.

One of those killed was a 77-year-old woman who fell 40 meters (131 feet) during a helicopter rescue operation in Iwaki City, Fukushima prefecture, on Sunday morning. Rescuers had failed to properly attach a hook to the harness as the woman was being pulled onto the helicopter.

More than 230,000 people were evacuated ahead of the storm, and emergency orders were issued for many cities around the greater Tokyo area. As of Monday, more than 84,000 households in Tokyo, northern Japan and mountainous areas in the center of the country were still without power.

More rains are expected during the course of the week, authorities cautioned people to stay away from rivers and mountain slopes.

On Saturday, ten bags of soil from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster were found drifting in a river amid storm debris in Tamura city, about 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) away from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Following a March 2011 earthquake, three reactors at the Fukushima plant melted down, releasing radioactive materials into the air and prompting more than 100,000 people to be evacuated from the area.

A total of 2,667 large, thick plastic bags containing contaminated materials from the disaster were being stored at a temporary storage site in Tamura while authorities looked for a more permanent location.
Each bag weighs upwards of several 100 kilograms.

Fukushima prefecture disaster management spokesperson Shunji Miura said the typhoon had no significant impact on the nuclear plant.

In some aerial image, Hokuriku Shinkansen train depot is submerged after river banks of Chikumagawa River collapse by the rain triggered by Typhoon Hagibis.

Typhoon Hagibis Chaos