Japan sets aside 710 million yen for repairs after Typhoon Hagibis

Tokyo – Japan is ready to spend 710 million yen (6.5 million dollars) to deal with the devastating aftermath of Typhoon Hagibis, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday.

The money will be spent on water, food, temporary toilets and beds, among other things, for disaster-stricken areas following Hagibis, one of the most powerful typhoons to hit Japan in decades, the government said.

Abe’s government is also considering compiling a supplementary budget to help support recovery efforts.

About 11 000 emergency workers, including firefighters and soldiers, were engaging in relief and search-and-rescue operations, the premier said.

The death toll from the storm, which ripped through central and north-eastern Japan at the weekend, has risen to 74, with 11 people still missing and 224 injured, according to broadcaster NHK.

The typhoon dumped record-breaking rainfall across wide areas of the country on Saturday, causing flooding and landslides.

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A woman cleans a house devastated by Typhoon Hagibis, in Nagano, central Japan. Picture: Koki Sengoku/Kyodo News via AP

The government said 52 river banks collapsed and the typhoon triggered a total of 170 landslides and mudslides in 19 prefectures, many of which cut off road links.

Hagibis inundated more than 14 000 houses, 1 100 of which were heavily damaged, NHK estimated.

About 4 400 people remain in 188 temporary shelters following the storm, according to the government.

Scientists say record temperatures and abnormal weather patterns around the world in recent years are clear evidence of climate change.

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A woman looks at homes devastated by Typhoon Hagibis in Nagano, Japan. Picture: Jae C. Hong/AP

Japan is no exception. In July 2018, torrential rains battered western Japan and triggered floods and landslides, killing more than 220, the largest number of deaths in three decades.

Then, a heatwave swept across Japan for nearly two weeks before the arrival of typhoons with temperatures reaching record highs.

The number of those who died of heatstroke and other heat-related causes in July 2018 more than tripled from a year earlier to 1,032, according to the government.


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