Typhoon Hagibis slammed the island nation of Japan this weekend, with the worst damage rendered by the flooding which accompanied it. Rescue and recovery operations remain underway.
67 people are confirmed dead following the storm and floods, with another 19 missing, according to national newspaper the Asahi Shimbun.
Rivers flooded their embankments and levees broke due to excessive rainwater, flooding entire neighborhoods. More than 20,000 homes are reported to have significant flooding, with hundreds of thousands without power and hundreds of thousands without access to clean water.
Search operations are ongoing for a young girl who had been pulled from her mother’s arms by floodwaters. Elsewhere, searchers look for boy who was missing from a car which had been swept away by flood; his mother and sister’s bodies were retrieved with the car, but the boy remains missing.
Ten “bullet” trains from the Hokariku Shinkansen line were damaged after being submerged within their trainyard. The estimated cost of the trains alone is more than 300 million dollars.
Bags full of waste from the Fukushima nuclear plant were washed away due to the flooding. The waste bags were confirmed to contain only decontaminated refuse, which means that all radioactive material had been stripped away. Concerns over nuclear plants nevertheless heightened fears even as recovery efforts began.
Shelters were available for the public, as Japan has a long history of dealing with strong storms and the flooding which sometimes accompanies them. International news was made when two homeless men were turned away from a storm shelter in Taito ward, Tokyo, because they did not have addresses in the area. Both men survived the storms and have spoken of their rejection, prompting promises by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that no such rejections will happen in the future.