Source Pravda.Ru

18 killed, 9 missing as powerful tropical storm hits Japan

A powerful storm that killed at least 18 people across Japan lashed the northern island of Hokkaido on Thursday with strong winds and heavy rains. Nine people were missing and more than 140 injured.

See photo report of the accident

Officials in Hokkaido closed about 700 public schools while Hokkaido Electric Power Co. said it had restored power to most of the 1,700 houses that suffered outages overnight.

Typhoon Nabi began lashing southern Japan on Tuesday, but was downgraded to a tropical storm before making landfall on Hokkaido late Wednesday.

Still, the storm was churning winds of up to 90 kilometers (56 miles) per hour on Thursday and was expected to dump up to 50 centimeters (20 inches) of rain on the island, the Meteorological Agency said.

Overall in Japan, 18 people were killed in mudslides and flooding and nine were missing by Thursday morning, authorities said. Kyodo News agency said 19 were dead.

The storm seriously injured 31 people while 110 sustained light injuries, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said.

Nearly 1,000 houses in southern and western Japan were either completely destroyed or damaged, and about 11,400 houses across Japan were flooded, the agency said, reports the AP.

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