Deadly Lionrock leaves 11 dead in Japan

Storm followed unusual path and hit northeast of the main island of Honshu.

    Tropical Storm Lionrock has battered Japan and left 11 people dead. 

    Nine of those who died were elderly residents at a care home. They were killed as mud surged through their residential complex in Iwaizumi on the eastern coast.

    According to reports by AFP news agency, the bodies were discovered half buried in mud and rubble after the storm brought torrential rain to the area.

    Aerial images showed a wide swath of flooded land, with cars half submerged in murky water.

    The storm also triggered flooding across the northern island of Hokkaido.

    "In Minamifurano town, the water level is still very high with a current, and rescue workers are using helicopters to try and evacuate people who are left on the roofs of their houses or their cars," Terumi Kohan, an official from Hokkaido, said.

    Lionrock meandered in the Pacific for about 10 days before working north and hitting Honshu from the east [Reuters]

    The typhoon hit the northeast of the main island of Honshu on Tuesday evening. Its landfall coincided with high tide, which exacerbated the flooding problems.

    Japan is no stranger to tropical storms and typhoons, but the path of Lionrock was rather unusual.

    Usually, storms approach Japan from the south or southwest, and move northeast across the country.

    But Lionrock meandered in the Pacific for about 10 days before working north and hitting Honshu from the east.

    Lionrock follows hot on the heels of two other storms that hit Japan in the past nine days.

    Tropical Storm Kompasu grazed the east coast of Honshu before slamming into the northern island of Hokkaido on August 21.

    Twenty-four hours later, Typhoon Mindulle smashed into the southeast of Honshu, bringing torrential rain and dangerous winds to the east coast, including Tokyo and Yokohama.

    The two storms triggered landslides and flooding, leading to two deaths. Hundreds of flights were cancelled and trains schedule were severely affected.

    Lionrock has now cleared Japan. It merged with a separate weather system in the Sea of Japan before slamming into eastern Russia, eastern China and the Korean Peninsula, bringing flooding to that region as well.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News and agencies


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