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Monday, 14 October 2019

Typhoon Hagibis: Tragedy as elderly woman falls to her death from rescue helicopter

A woman in her 70s has died after she was accidentally dropped 40m (131ft) from a helicopter rescuing her from an area devastated by Typhoon Hagibis.

Helicopters, boats and thousands of troops have been deployed to rescue those stranded in flooded homes, and at least 48 people in Japan have lost their lives.

The Tokyo Fire Department has admitted that the pensioner had not been strapped in properly while being airlifted in Iwaki city in Fukushima.
Officials apologised during a news conference, bowing deeply and for a long time, in accordance with Japanese custom.

At least 187 people have been injured since Typhoon Hagibis made landfall south of Tokyo on Saturday evening - with an estimated 1,283 homes flooded and 517 more damaged.
According to the Kyodo news agency, 16 people are missing as rescue crews dig through mudslides in search of them.
Reports suggest at least five crew members died after a cargo ship sank off Japan's coast - and four other members of the 12-strong crew were brought to safety.
The ship had been anchored off the coast of Kawasaki city, south of Tokyo, when it lost contact on Saturday, the transport ministry said.
As the typhoon was downgraded to a tropical storm on Sunday, authorities started to help clear up areas where houses have been destroyed and rivers flooded.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government would set up a special disaster team to deal with the devastation, including helping people in evacuation centres and increasing efforts to restore water and electricity.
"Our response must be rapid and appropriate," he said.
Soldiers and firefighters have been deployed throughout Japan as helicopters could be seen rescuing people stranded from higher floors and rooftops of submerged homes.
A rescue helicopter was seen hovering in a flooded area of Nagano prefecture, one of the most severely hit areas after an embankment of the Chikuma River broke.
The aircraft picked up those stranded on the second floor of a home submerged in muddy waters.
Aerial footage showed tractors trying to control the flooding and several people on a rooftop, with one person waving a white cloth to get the attention of a helicopter.
The Tama River, which runs by Tokyo, overflowed its banks, flooding homes and other buildings in the area.
Scotland's Rugby World Cup game against Japan, which was won by the home team, went ahead on Sunday despite the typhoon, but the Namibia vs Canada game was cancelled.
All matches on Saturday were cancelled.
Tokyo's airports gradually resumed service on Sunday after shutting down on Saturday due to the high winds and strong rain.

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