Typhoon Halong blamed for 10 deaths and dozens of injuries in Japan
As many as 10 people died and dozens were injured as Typhoon Halong slammed into the Japanese archipelago over the weekend, reports said yesterday.
The storm was moving over the Sea of Japan (East Sea), after making landfall on the largest and most populous island of Honshu, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The outer bands of the storm were continuing to lash northern Japan with heavy rain as officials warned of landslides, floods and tornadoes.
The agency downgraded the typhoon to a tropical storm as it headed towards the far eastern coast of Russia.
The storm, as well as heavy rain last week, killed two people and injured 86 across Japan, public broadcaster NHK reported.
But the Nikkei newspaper said as many as 10 deaths were linked to the storm. The body of an Iranian man was found in Ibaraki, northeast of Tokyo, while two Japanese women died in the country's west, the Nikkei said.
The National Police Agency declined to confirm the number of deaths, saying it had yet to compile a nationwide total.
The coastguard yesterday resumed searching for a man who went missing apparently while surfing during the storm, off Wakayama in western Japan.
"Police and the coastguard dispatched one rescue boat and two helicopters but we have not found any sign of him," a police spokesman said.
Local officials scrambled to clean up in the aftermath of the storm.
In Osaka, Halong forced the cancellation of a major fireworks event on Saturday after the storm washed away 21 launching boats, about half of them carrying unused pyrotechnics.
The Osaka city disaster prevention bureau said four workers also drifted away on the runaway boats, but they were later confirmed to be safe.
Airline services largely returned to normal yesterday with just a handful of flights cancelled after more than 700 flights were called off during the weekend, just as Japan began its annual "Obon" summer holiday.