Typhoon Hagibis, which swept across central and eastern Japan on Saturday and Sunday, has claimed at 44 lives in Japan on Monday as search-and-rescue operations continued in flood-and landslide-hit areas of Nagano and other prefectures, Xinhua news agency reported.
In addition, 14 people are listed as missing, and more than 100 others were injured during the weekend storm. The number of the injured is expected to rise during further search and rescue.
As of Monday noon, about 38,000 people in 17 prefectures had evacuated their homes, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a disaster task force meeting that the government will do its utmost to support those affected by the typhoon and its after-effects, vowing to improve conditions at evacuation centers and shelters without waiting for requests from local governments.
“There are concerns that the impact on lives and economic activities may persist,” he said. “We will respond as best we can as we continue to think about those who are suffering.”
Defense Minister Taro Kono told senior officials at a special Ministry of Defense meeting to ensure the Self-Defence Forces (SDF) makes its best efforts in responding to the disaster, adding that the first 72 hours that follow a disaster are crucial when it comes to saving lives.
Japan’s Self-Defence Forces, police and firefighters are carrying out the operations in the wake of the typhoon. By Monday morning, some 31,000 personnel have been mobilised to carry out rescue operations that had saved 1,518 people, said the defence ministry.