Less than a week after being hit by the, Japan was bracing on Thursday for a secondary disaster. Heavy rain was forecast to hit already-inundated areas in the coming days. Officials said additional precipitation could destabilize storm walls along swollen rivers and trigger more landslides, with recovery efforts barely underway and a full picture of the devastation wrought by Typhoon Hagibis just starting to emerge.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism said more than 56,000 acres across eastern and northeastern parts of Japan’s main island of Honshu were flooded by the super typhoon. More than 100 river embankments collapsed during and immediately after the storm struck last weekend, causing 33,000 homes to flood. Almost 2,000 houses were partially or totally destroyed.
More than 77 deaths have been blamed on the storm, and hopes were fading fast that any of the approximately 10 people still listed as missing would be found alive. Thousands remained in shelters on Thursday, often shivering through the night as temperatures drop.