Nine Killed at Japan Nursing Home After Typhoon Triggers Floods

  • Lionrock is first typhoon to make landfall in Tohoku region
  • Reports of others missing as rivers burst banks after rain

Koshigawa River in Iwate is swollen on August 30.

Photographer: The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images

Nine people are believed to have died at a nursing home in Japan’s northern Iwate prefecture after Typhoon Lionrock triggered flooding in the area.

The nine were found without vital signs, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a briefing in Tokyo. The nursing home in the town of Iwaizumi, which housed elderly patients with dementia, was located directly beside a river that overflowed overnight, NHK said. The public broadcaster showed helicopter footage of the nursing home surrounded by debris washed up by the floods, which had already receded.

Typhoon Lionrock, the first typhoon to make landfall in the northern Tohoku region since records began, passed over the northernmost parts of Japan’s main island of Honshu yesterday. Rivers burst their banks across Iwate and Hokkaido prefectures after the historic levels of rain brought by the storm.

Troops were dispatched to assist with rescue operations, the Defense Ministry said in a statement. Parts of Iwate prefecture saw almost 300 millimeters of rain as a result of the typhoon, which weakened overnight to an extra-tropical cyclone in the Sea of Japan.

Another woman was found dead in Iwate’s Kuji, while three were missing in Japan’s northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, NHK reported. Flooding was seen in Minami-Furano, a town near a popular ski resort in Hokkaido, after the Sorachi river burst its banks.

Almost 9,000 people had been ordered to evacuate across Japan’s northern prefectures, while 370,000 were advised to seek refuge, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said.

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