Death Toll increases to 56, as Typhoon hit Japan

There was a long night of rescue search on Monday to find survivors of a powerful typhoon in Japan that killed at least 56 people, as fresh rain threatened to hamper their efforts.

The death toll from the disaster has risen steadily, with national broadcaster NHK saying Monday night that 56 people had been killed and 15 were still missing.

It cited its own tally based on local reporting. The government has given lower numbers but is still updating its information.

“Even now, many people are still unaccounted for in the disaster-hit area,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told an emergency disaster meeting on Monday.

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“Units are trying their best to search for and rescue them, working day and night,” Abe said.

Later in the day, he pledged to “do whatever the country can” for victims and survivors, ordering the defence ministry to call up to 1,000 reserve troops to join 31,000 active forces in search operations.

But rescue work that was continuing into the night risked being hampered by additional rain falling in central and eastern Japan that officials warned could cause fresh flooding and landslides.

“I would like to ask people to stay fully vigilant and continue watching for landslides and river flooding,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference.

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In Nagano, one of the worst-hit regions, officials said they were working cautiously.

“We are concerned about the impact of the latest rain on rescue and recovery efforts,” local official Hiroki Yamaguchi told AFP.

“We will continue operations while watching out for secondary disasters due to the current rain.”

Source: AFP

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