Japan Times, 21 October 2004: Typhoon kills 17, leaves trail of havoc
Kyodo News: At least 17 people were dead Wednesday as massive Typhoon Tokage chruned north across the Japanese archipelago after hitting Kochi Prefecture. The typhoon made landfall near Tosashimizu, Kochi Prefecture, around 1 p.m. and advanced through the main island of Honshu later in the day, leaving at least 20 missing and more than 120 injured, the Meteorological Agency said.
The season's 23rd typhoon became the record 10th to make landfall on the archipelago in one season.
Many areas nationwide were swamped by downpours and strong winds due to Tokage, which means lizard and is the Japanese name for the Lacerta contellation. October rainfall in Tokyo topped 570 mm, rewriting the montly record set in 1945.
A 31 year-old man was found dead after driving into a river in the city of Miyazaki. Two men separately fixing their roofs in Nagasaki and Ehime prefectures fell to their deaths.
In Tosashimizu, one of five fishermen who were washed away by waves while moving their boats was later found dead. In Muroto, Kochi Prefecture, an elderly couple and a man died when their houses were demolished by high waves, according to local authorities.
The Torrential rains also triggered landslides around the country.
A 24 year-old woman in Ehine Prefecture suffocated after he house was buried in a landslide around midday.
A man who fell into a flooded canal in Miyazaki Prefecture was found dead, as was a newspaper delivery man in Oita Prefecture who apparently fell into a river.
Among the missing were two fishermen who were washed away by high waves in Chiba Prefecture.
Under strong winds, the 4,883-ton Bahamian-flagged containership OOCL SETO ran aground on Kakeroma Island, Kagashima Prefecture, early Wednesday. No injuries were reported among the 16 Filipino crew members, according to the Japan Coast Guard.
It said the vessel was pulled to safety in the afternoon and plans to continue on to its destination of Hong Kong as early as Thursday.
The 9,900-ton Japanese freighter Shuri meanwhile became stranded around 5 a.m. on Uma Island in the Seto Inland Sea off Imabari, Ehime Prefecture. None of the 12 crew was injured.
The typhoon also wreaked havoc with air and land transportation.
A total of 874 domestic flights had been canceled as of 6 p.m., affecting about 103,000 passengers in what could be the largest number of cancellations in a single day this year due to a typhoon.
On the Tokaido Shinkansen Line linking Tokyo and Osaka, all bullet train services were halted at 3:47 p.m. due to heavy rain, operator East Japan Railway Co. said. The trains resumed operations at 7:10 p.m.
Thirty-eight bullet train runs were canceled and 15 other train services were delayed on the Sanyo Shinkansen Line as of noon, affecting about 27,000 people, operators said. Some trains on the Kyushu Shinkansen Line were also canceled.
Utility firms said that some 110,000 homes in the Kinki, Chugoku, and Shikoku regions temporarily lost power due to the typhoon.
The Hyogo Prefectural Government issued a request in the afternoon for the Ground Self-Defense Force to be dispatched to provide emergency disaster assistance in the city of Sumoto, located on Awaji Island in the Seto Inland Seat.
The Sumoto River, which runs through the city, threatened to overflow, prefectural officials said. Some 100 troops responded to the call.
Ohama in Fukui Prefecture also issued an evacuation order to some 11,000 households because many rivers in the city were feared to flood.