Typhoon kills at least 15 as it passes Japan

Sep 6 2011 - 11:33am

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Firefighters pull debris looking for missing people at Gojo, central Japan, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011. Typhoon Talas dumped record amounts of rain on central and western Japan and lashed wide swaths of the country with destructive winds before being downgraded to a tropical storm. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
Japanese soldiers pull a smashed vehicle from mud for missing people at Gojo, central Japan, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011. Typhoon Talas dumped record amounts of rain on central and western Japan and lashed wide swaths of the country with destructive winds before being downgraded to a tropical storm. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
Japan Ground Self-Defense Force personnel search for victims on the river bank in Nachikatsuura, Wakayama Prefecture, central Japan, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011. Typhoon Talas dumped record rain, killing dozens of people in Japan. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
Rescuers search destroyed houses for missing people after a landslide triggered by Typhoon Talas that brought heavy rains at Tanabe, central Japan, Monday, Sept. 5, 2011. The storm dumped record amounts of rain Sunday in western and central Japan as it turned towns into lakes, washed away cars and triggered mudslides that obliterated houses. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
Volunteer firefighters search destroyed houses for missing people after heavy downpours by Typhoon Talas caused a landslide at Tanabe, central Japan, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011. The storm dumped record amounts of rain Sunday in western and central Japan as it turned towns into lakes, washed away cars and triggered mudslides that obliterated houses. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
Firefighters pull debris looking for missing people at Gojo, central Japan, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011. Typhoon Talas dumped record amounts of rain on central and western Japan and lashed wide swaths of the country with destructive winds before being downgraded to a tropical storm. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
Japanese soldiers pull a smashed vehicle from mud for missing people at Gojo, central Japan, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011. Typhoon Talas dumped record amounts of rain on central and western Japan and lashed wide swaths of the country with destructive winds before being downgraded to a tropical storm. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
Japan Ground Self-Defense Force personnel search for victims on the river bank in Nachikatsuura, Wakayama Prefecture, central Japan, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011. Typhoon Talas dumped record rain, killing dozens of people in Japan. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
Rescuers search destroyed houses for missing people after a landslide triggered by Typhoon Talas that brought heavy rains at Tanabe, central Japan, Monday, Sept. 5, 2011. The storm dumped record amounts of rain Sunday in western and central Japan as it turned towns into lakes, washed away cars and triggered mudslides that obliterated houses. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
Volunteer firefighters search destroyed houses for missing people after heavy downpours by Typhoon Talas caused a landslide at Tanabe, central Japan, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011. The storm dumped record amounts of rain Sunday in western and central Japan as it turned towns into lakes, washed away cars and triggered mudslides that obliterated houses. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

TOKYO -- Heavy rains and mudslides from powerful Typhoon Talas killed at least 15 people in Japan as the storm moved northward Sunday past the country's western coast. At least 43 others are missing, local media said.

Evacuation orders and advisories were issued to 460,000 people in western and central Japan, Kyodo News agency reported.

NHK TV footage showed a bridge that had been swept away after intense rainfall caused a river to swell with brown torrents. People holding umbrellas waded through knee-deep water in city streets and residential areas.

The center of the season's 12th typhoon was moving slowly north across the Sea of Japan off the country's west coast, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. It crossed the southern island of Shikoku and the central part of the main island of Honshu overnight Saturday.

That area is hundreds of miles (kilometers) from Japan's tsunami-ravaged northeastern coast.

Because of the storm's slow speed, the agency warned that heavy rains and strong winds are likely to continue and could lead to flooding and landslides.

Three homes were buried in a landslide in Wakayama prefecture. One woman who was rescued whose identity was still being confirmed later died, four remained missing and a 14-year old girl was saved from the debris, police said.

Overall in the hard-hit prefecture, 10 people were dead and 32 people were missing, they said.

Seven people were reported missing in nearby Nara prefecture after homes were swept down a river, NHK said.

Among the dead was a woman who appeared to be in her 30s whose body was found in a river in Ehime prefecture on Shikoku, police said.

A 73-year-old man in Nara prefecture died after a landslide caused his house to collapse, police said.

 

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