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At least 56 dead, several missing in Japan after Typhoon Hagibis

By Adriana Navarro, Accuweather.com & UPI
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At least 56 dead, several missing in Japan after Typhoon Hagibis
Floodwaters and landslide debris is seen Sunday in Marumori, Miyagi prefecture, Japan, following Typhoon Hagibis. Photo by Jiji Press/EPA-EFE

Oct. 14 -- The death toll from Typhoon Hagibis continued to rise, to above 50, on Monday as thousands worked to clean up after Japan was hit by one of the strongest storms it's seen in a decade.

Authorities said at least 56 have died so far as a result of the storm, more than 200 have been injured and several are missing. More than 65,000 people are without power.

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More than 6 million people had been advised to evacuate ahead of Typhoon Hagibis, according to Kyodo News. Monday, 38,000 people remained in shelters.

Much of the impacted areas remain underwater after nearly 40 inches fell in some locations.

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As AccuWeather predicted, one of the biggest issues with Hagibis was flooding rainfall. At least 24 levees have collapsed on 21 rivers due to the heavy rain. The floodwaters inundated several neighboring cities and towns, forcing people from their homes.

Emergency officials reported Sunday a nursing home had been flooded. There are no reports of deaths, but about 220 elderly and staff had evacuated to the second floor of the building. Water rescues have since been underway.

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Record-breaking rainfall, strong winds and severe flooding struck central to northern Japan on Saturday, as Hagibis made landfall on Shizuoka Prefecture's Izu Peninsula. Nagano, Niigata, Miyagi, Fukushima, Ibaraki, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures were inundated by floodwaters after levees failed.

Japanese officials are assessing the damage from the 19th named storm of the season.

"I extend my condolences for all those who lost their lives and offer my sympathy to those who all those impacted by Typhoon [Hagibis]," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday at a ministerial meeting on the typhoon at the prime minister's office.

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Train operators resumed services by Sunday afternoon after service was suspended. Officials said a Panamanian cargo ship sunk in Tokyo Bay on Saturday night, killing five.

The day before Hagibis made landfall, residents of Tokyo were scraping for the last supermarkets had to sell across the city as they prepared for what Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike called "a typhoon of unprecedented scale."

Hagibis rapidly strengthened in the West Pacific to become the third super typhoon of the season last week. The storm went from a tropical depression with sustained winds of 30 mph to a super typhoon producing winds of 150 mph only 48 hours later.

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At a peak strength of 160 mph, the typhoon tied with Wutip from February as the most powerful tropical cyclone in the West Pacific Basin this year.

Although the Japan Meteorological Agency had downgraded the status of the storm to a "strong" typhoon before landfall in Japan, the agency had warned in a news conference the storm could be as severe as the Kanogawa Typhoon, which killed more than 1,200 people in 1958 and is one of the deadliest typhoons on record.

Hagibis made landfall in Japan Saturday night, packing winds of the equivalent in strength to a Category 2 hurricane in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Ocean basins.

Bands of wind and rain preceding Hagibis knocked out the power for more than 270,000 households and that figure later climbed to nearly a half-million homes. Officials said some locations may be without power for an extended period of time.

A record level of nearly 39 inches from the storm had fallen over a 48-hour period in at least one location and ten levees collapsed on nine rivers due to the heavy rain, NHK reported. The Japan Meteorology Agency issued level 5 heavy rain emergencies -- the highest level -- across at least seven prefectures early Sunday.

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Many weekend events were rescheduled, including a qualifying race for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka International Racing Course.

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