Japan typhoon tolls hit 24


OSHIMA: Frogmen on Friday scoured waters off the coast of a Japanese island where landslides buried houses when a huge typhoon rolled through, as the death toll reached 24.

Coastguards joined the grim search for the 26 people still unaccounted for after a mountainside collapsed on the island of Oshima, 120 kilometers south of the Japanese capital.

About 1,000 troops, firefighters and police were continuing their search on land, using shovels to move the huge volumes of earth that had swamped homes, as those affected by the disaster looked on.

A total of 22 people are now known to have died on the island. A woman was also killed in western Tokyo and the body of one of two elementary schoolchildren believed to have been near a beach in Kanagawa when the storm hit had been found, a local official said.

The other child and a man in Chiba were still listed as missing.

Typhoon Wipha, the most powerful in 10 years, veered up the coast of the Japanese archipelago overnight on Tuesday into Wednesday.

The eye of the storm remained offshore but the strong winds and heavy rain that it brought wreaked devastation on Oshima, one of a number of far-flung islands that are administratively part of metropolitan Tokyo.



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