The 19th Typhoon of 2019 or Typhoon Hagibis tore through Japan’s main island of Honshu on October 12 and 13 causing massive river flood, killing 45 and leaving 17 unaccounted for as of Oct. 14 in Japan Time.
Cities and towns across the county – including in Nagano, Niigata, Miyagi, Fukushima, Ibaraki, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures – were inundated by flood waters after levees failed in the face of record rainfall, forcing many people to abandon submerged homes.
Rescue efforts were hindered after more than 20 rivers in central and northeastern Japan burst their banks and dozens more overflowed although their banks still in tact.
The damage could worsen in the coming days as the water levels may rise along flooded rivers.
The Chikuma River in Nagano Prefecture inundated residential neighborhoods in the cities of Nagano and Chikuma. Flood waters engulfed houses and left about 360 people stranded. Firefighters and Self-Defense Forces personnel rescued residents trapped in their homes using helicopters and rafts.
Emergency evacuation centers were opened at numerous locations.
A fleet of bullet trains were also submerged at a railway yard in the city of Nagano as a result of the levees collapsing along the Chikuma River. Ten trains on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line connecting Tokyo and Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, were affected. The 10 trains, made up of a total of 120 carriages, represent a third of the trains on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line.
East Japan Railway Co. said that it has no idea when operations on the line will be resumed. For the time being, East Japan Railway has decided to operate the line with the remaining trains between Tokyo and Nagano. The trains connecting Kanazawa and Toyama were operating normally by West Japan Railway Co.
On Oct, 13 in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, a helicopter rescue mission failed and caused the death of a 77-year-old woman. A Tokyo Fire Department helicopter accidentally dropped the woman about 40 meters to the ground because her rescuers did not properly attach her to the rope when they were attempting to winch her to safety.
The storm was so strong that it caused a Panamanian cargo ship to sink in Tokyo Bay on Oct. 12 night, killing five people.