Japanese typhoon kills 10, spares nuclear plant
A powerful typhoon that barrelled through Japan and threatened the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant killed at least 10 people including a woman aged 101, according to officials and reports.
Typhoon Roke, which churned across the main island of Honshu and through the already disaster-ravaged northeast, caused flooding and triggered landslides in an echo of a vicious storm earlier in the month that killed around 100 people.
But it did not cause any further damage to the battered nuclear power plant, as had been feared, its operators said, after workers had scrambled to secure the facility to prevent more radiation from seeping out.
Public broadcaster NHK and Jiji Press news agency put the death toll at 10, with five missing and hundreds of people injured.
Police and rescuers recovered at least four bodies on Thursday morning, including a 65-year-old woman who was buried when a mudslide engulfed her house in Iwate prefecture, officials said.
Two people, including the 101-year-old, were found dead in Shizuoka prefecture, where the typhoon made landfall on Wednesday, an official said.
In Sendai, the largest city in the northeastern region that was battered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that led to the atomic crisis, two sewerage workers went missing, a city official told AFP.
“We are aware that one body was recovered this morning but have not confirmed it belongs to one of the missing workers,” he said.
Local police and rescuers recovered another body from a river in central Aichi prefecture and they were investigating whether the death was typhoon related, an official said.
A series of strong typhoons have hit Japan, which is still recovering from the massive quake and tsunami that left around 20,000 people dead or missing.
Roke was located 250 kilometres (155 miles) east-northeast of Nemuro, on the eastern tip of the northern Hokkaido island, as of 0440 GMT, moving away from Japan, the meteorological agency said.
It is expected to weaken into an extratropical cyclone later in the day.