Japanese Search for Missing After Deadly Typhoon

Posted September 5th, 2011 at 2:25 am (UTC-5)
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Japanese rescue workers dug through mud and wreckage Monday in search of dozens of people who remain missing after Typhoon Talas hammered the nation's western coast.

Japanese media report 27 dead and more than 50 missing in floods and landslides spawned by the storm, the deadliest to hit Japan in seven years. Thousands more are isolated by the flooding, which washed away roads and bridges.

The storm, which struck Saturday, is the first crisis to confront Japan's new prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda.

He told reporters Monday his government will do its best to save lives and find the missing.

Wakayama and Nara prefectures in western Japan were the hardest hit, with more than 650 millimeters of rain dumped in some areas. Numerous homes and buildings were washed away, and officials say it will take months to rebuild the area's roads and bridges.

Talas was downgraded to a tropical storm late Sunday as it moved off into the Sea of Japan, which Koreans call the East Sea.