Roke Turns its Fury on Japan’s Earthquake-Battered Northeast

Posted September 22nd, 2011 at 3:45 am (UTC-5)
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Typhoon Roke headed to sea late Thursday after lashing Japan's northern island of Hokkaido with high winds and rain.

At least 15 people were reported dead or missing from the storm, which did its worst damage with landslides and flooding in central Japan. It slammed Tokyo with fierce winds and torrential rain Wednesday, halting mass transit and stranding tens of thousands of commuters.

The damage was less severe along the northeastern coast, where residents are struggling to recover from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Workers at the crippled Fukushima-Daiichi plant said they succeeded in preventing radioactive water from spilling out of the damaged reactors. Officials said the plant sustained only minor damage to its security cameras.

In a village near Sendai, one of the worst-hit cities in the March earthquake, residents expressed frustration at the prospect of losing yet another home.

One resident said he thought he was safe after moving to a mountainside, but he has been evacuated again.

Television footage Wednesday showed residents in the central city Nagoya being carried to safety on boats pulled by rescue workers. Authorities had issued an evacuation advisory for about 1 million people in the city, warning that nearby rivers might overflow their banks and flood the area.

Western Japan is still recovering from the aftermath of Typhoon Talas, which left at least 80 people dead or missing earlier this month. The storm swept away roads and downed telephone and power lines, leaving more than 4,000 people isolated.