At least 26 people were killed by strong Typhoon Hagibis, local media reported, a day after the brutal storm slammed into Japan, unleashing unprecedented rain and catastrophic flooding.
More than 100,000 rescuers, including 31,000 troops, were working into the night to reach people trapped following torrential rain caused landslides and filled rivers until they burst their banks. The destruction forced the Rugby World Cup to cancel the third tournament match, though a key Japan-Scotland fixture was ruled safe to play.
The storm moved off the land on Sunday morning, and while it largely spared the capital, it left a trail of destruction in surrounding regions.
The government put the death toll at 14, with 11 people missing, but local media said at least 26 people had been killed, and at least 15 were still unaccounted for.
Rivers overspilled their banks at nearly a dozen locations, including in central Japan’s Nagano, where a levee breach sent water from the Chikuma river gushing into residential neighborhoods, flooding homes up to the second floor.
Military and fire department helicopters winched survivors from roofs and balconies in several locations. In Iwaki City, Fukushima, a rescue went tragically awry when a woman died after falling while she was being winched to safety.
Elsewhere, rescue workers carried out an hour-long boat operation to evacuate hundreds of people from a retirement home in Kawagoe, northwest of Tokyo, which was flooded up to its top floor.
One elderly woman wearing an orange life vest was brought out from a boat on the back of a hard-hat wearing rescuer. Others were hoisted onto wheelchairs and pushed along a muddy shore on arrival by boat. Hagibis smashed into the main Japanese island of Honshu on Saturday night as one of the most violent typhoons in recent years, with wind gusts of up to 216 kilometers per hour (134 miles per hour).