Four dead, 17 missing as fierce typhoon pounds Tokyo

Four dead, 17 missing as fierce typhoon pounds Tokyo

Four people were killed and 17 were missing after the most powerful typhoon to hit Japan in decades paralysed Tokyo, flooding rivers and putting millions under evacuation warning before it plowed up the northeastern coast.

Authorities lifted rain and flood warnings for the Kanto region around a becalmed Tokyo before dawn but imposed them on areas further north after Typhoon Hagibis blasted through the capital.

Attention focused on Fukushima, where Tokyo Electric Power Co overnight reported irregular readings from sensors monitoring water in its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which was crippled by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Four people died in Chiba, Gunma, Kanagawa and Fukushima prefectures surrounding Tokyo, public broadcaster NHK. Among them was a man in his 60s who was found with no vital signs in a flooded apartment in Kawasaki, NHK said. Seventeen were missing early Sunday, it said.

The heavy rain caused a river in Nagano prefecture, northwest of Tokyo, to flood its banks. Some houses along the Chikuma river were nearly fully submerged in water and at least one person was rescued from the roof of a house by helicopter, NHK said. Part of a road was swept away in flooding.

Authorities issued evacuation advisories and orders for more than 6 million people across Japan as the storm unleashed the heaviest rain and winds in years. Some 80 injuries have been reported so far, while more than 270,000 households lost power, NHK said.

The storm, which the government said could be the strongest to hit Tokyo since 1958, brought record-breaking rainfall in many areas, including the popular resort town of Hakone, which was hit with 939.5 mm (37 inches) of rain over 24 hours.