Much of the train bridge over the Nachi River in Wakayama has been washed away
4 September 2011
At least 19 people have been killed and more than 50 are missing after powerful Typhoon Talas ripped through western Japan, local media reports.
The storm brought heavy rain and winds of up to 108km/h (68mph) after making landfall on Shikoku island on Saturday.
Talas has now moved over Japan and into the Sea of Japan (East Sea), Japan’s Meteorological Agency said on Sunday.
But it warned that heavy rains and strong winds would continue – raising the threat of floods and landslides.
Some 460,000 people in parts of western and central Japan were issued with evacuation orders and advisories, Kyodo News agency reported.
Some of the worst hit areas appeared to be in the western prefectures of Nara and Wakayama.
Six homes were engulfed by a mudslide in the Wakayama city of Tanabe, leaving three women and two high school students missing, Kyodo reports.
Most of a train bridge over the Nachi River in Wakayama has also been swept away by swollen waters.
Homes were also swept away in the Nara prefecture village of Totsukawa, with at least three people dead and seven missing.
The public broadcaster NHK reports that nearly 100 people have been injured.