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13 Dead, 50 Missing As Typhoon Wipha Lashes Tokyo

October 16, 2013

By Mari Yamaguchi, The Associated Press

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TOKYO - A powerful typhoon triggered landslides and caused at least 13 deaths on a Japanese island, before sweeping up the country's east coast, grounding hundreds of flights and paralyzing public transportation in Tokyo during Wednesday morning's rush hour.

Rescue workers found 13 bodies, most of them buried by mudslides, on Izu Oshima island about 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of Tokyo, police and town officials said. Dozens of homes were destroyed, and more than 50 people are missing. "We have no idea how bad the extent of damage could be," town official Hinani Uematsu said.

NHK public television showed rescue workers struggling to dig a woman out of a heap of debris as she shrieked in pain. A rescuer told NHK that he almost walked by the spot without seeing the woman in the debris until she cried out, "Help!"

Typhoon Wipha packed winds of up to 180 kilometers per hour (110 mph) and stayed offshore in the Pacific. Dozens of schools were closed in the Tokyo area. More heavy rain and wind were forecast in northern Japan through Wednesday.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Story Image: Houses are covered in debris due to mudslides on Japan's Izu Oshima Island (AP Photo, Kyodo News)

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