A TYPHOON that pummeled western Japan left at least 17 people dead and 43 missing Sunday after swollen rivers swept away buildings and landslides crushed houses.
One of the victims drowned after floodwaters swept into his car, and streets were submerged in scenes that rekindled memories of the March 11 tsunami disaster.
Typhoon Talas, which made landfall Saturday, packed gusts of up to 68mph (108kph) as it cut across the main island of Shikoku and the western part of Honshu island.
In Nara Prefecture’s Totsukawa village, a gushing river washed away housing complexes, leaving at least two people dead and seven missing, the local government said.
Police in the Wakayama Prefecture announced that at least 10 people had died and 32 were missing, suggesting the death toll may rise further.
Another 98 people were injured, public broadcaster NHK reported.
Television footage showed massive landslides crushing wooden houses in mountainous communities, with muddy water submerging streets and washing away wooden debris and cars.
The powerful typhoon was moving slowly north into the Sea of Japan on Sunday morning, the Tokyo-based Japan Meteorological Agency said.
With the typhoon moving away, however, the agency warned of more mudslides in the western region where rainfall totaled more than 72 inches (180 centimetres).