Death toll tops 50
Tens of thousands of rescuers worked into last night to find survivors of a powerful typhoon in Japan that killed at least 56 people, as fresh rain threatened to hamper their efforts.
Typhoon Hagibis crashed into the country on Saturday night, unleashing high winds and torrential rain across 36 of the country's 47 prefectures, triggering landslides and catastrophic flooding.
The death toll from the disaster has risen steadily, with national broadcaster NHK saying that 56 people had been killed and 15 were still missing.
It cited its own tally based on local reporting. The government has given lower numbers but is still updating its information.
"Even now, many people are still unaccounted for in the disaster-hit area," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told an emergency disaster meeting yesterday.
"Units are trying their best to search for and rescue them, working day and night," Abe said.
Later in the day, he pledged to "do whatever the country can" for victims and survivors, ordering the defence ministry to call up to 1,000 reserve troops to join 31,000 active forces in search operations.
Rescue workers waded through muddy, waist-high waters searching for missing people yesterday. The rescue work that was continuing into the night risked being hampered by additional rain falling in central and eastern Japan that officials warned could cause fresh flooding and landslides.