Search efforts for people still missing resumed Monday following days of heavy rains brought by Typhoon Wipha, considered by the Japan Meteorological Agency a “once in a decade” storm that hit last week. However, the agency has also warned of another “very strong” typhoon coming.
Izu Oshima, a volcanic island south of Tokyo, suffered the most from the recent storm. The heavy rains triggered landslides that even covered houses on the island, which is 120 km (75 miles) south from the country’s capital. Meanwhile, at least 27 people died, while 19 people are still missing. The local government has also warned 2,300 residents of the island to evacuate because Typhoon Francisco is believed to follow the path of Typhoon Wipha unless it changes route.
Francisco, the 27th typhoon of the year, is considered to be gathering a maximum wind speed of 65 meters per second. “As the [next] typhoon is coming and rain is expected to start falling again, we would like to do as much searching as possible beforehand, and return the missing to their families,” said Oshima Mayor Masafumi Kawashima. About 1,200 police officers, soldiers, and rescue workers have already gone back to their search and rescue efforts. Mayor Kawashima also said, “The town [has] advised residents to return home for now and calmly prepare for the next evacuation.”