At least 11, mostly elderly, die in Japanese Typhoon

At least 11, mostly elderly, die in Japanese Typhoon

At least 11 people have been found dead in Japan, most of them elderly residents at a nursing home, after heavy overnight rain from Typhoon Lionrock left towns flooded across the country's north.

PA report that police discovered nine bodies in the town of Iwaizumi while checking another facility in the flooded neighbourhood, said Takehiro Hayashijiri, an official at the Iwate prefecture disaster management division.

The identity of the victims and other details, including the whereabouts of their caretakers, were not known, Mr Hayashijiri said. Japanese public broadcaster NHK said the home was for people with dementia.

Authorities found two more bodies - one in the same town and the second in the town of Kuji - in Iwate prefecture, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.

Footage on Japan's national broadcaster NHK showed the nursing home partially buried in mud, surrounded by debris apparently washed down in the swollen river. A car by the home was turned upside down.

At another nursing home, a rescue helicopter perched on a flat roof, airlifting residents, each wrapped in a blanket and carried by helpers.

"We're making a government-wide effort to assess the extent of damage," chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

The government sent the Self-Defence Force to help in the rescue and clean-up effort.

Further north, on the island of Hokkaido, at least two rivers broke through their banks.

The disaster management agency said at least one person went missing while driving or riding in a car that went down with a bridge torn away by the flood.

Authorities in the town of Minamifurano reported hundreds of people trapped in houses and shelters by flooding from the Sorachi river, the agency said. Hundreds of other people were also trapped in buildings and isolated in several towns in Iwate.

Typhoon Lionrock made landfall on Tuesday evening near the city of Ofunato, 310 miles north east of Tokyo on the Pacific coast and crossed the main island of Honshu before heading out to the Sea of Japan.

It was the first time a typhoon had made landfall in the northern region since 1951, when the Japan Meteorological Agency started keeping records.

Iwate prefecture, the hardest-hit by the typhoon, is one of the areas still rebuilding from the March 2011 tsunami and earthquake, which left more than 18,000 people dead along Japan's north-eastern coast.

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