Freak storms battered Western Japan in the early hours of Tuesday morning (May 8) killing at least 11 people and leaving 13 people missing.
GV PAN road down landslip to house
CU Damaged roof (2 shots)
SV PAN Running water along diverting trench to men working on channel (4 shots)
GVs cars through floods (3 shots)
GV PAN flooded railway line (3 shots)
CU engine off rails & men examining (3 shots)
GV Rescue workers (2 shots)
TGV Halted train
Initials ES. 1730 ES. 1745
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Background: Freak storms battered Western Japan in the early hours of Tuesday morning (May 8) killing at least 11 people and leaving 13 people missing.
The rain, coupled with gale-force winds, caused landslides at Nagasaki, a coastal city on the western edge of Kyushu Island. Several houses there wee destroyed or almost totally buried under tons of mud. In addition, a mother and her seven-year old child died in one house, and two teenage sisters were killed in another. In a third house a twenty-two year old woman was crushed to death.
In the prefecture of Kagoshima, south of Nagasaki, railroads were disrupted as the threat of landslides continued. A Japan National Railways train was derailed when a track subsided -- no casualties were reported.
On the inland and Japan Seas, high winds capsized three small freighters and a fishing boat. Eleven men were trapped when one of the freighters, the 500-ton South Korean ship, the New Hai Dong, suddenly went down. Three of the crew escaped, but the remainder were trapped beneath the hull. By nightfall two bodies had been recovered.
The Japanese Meteorological Office in Tokyo said that the storms, while not unusual for May, were more severe than normal.
The last major storms to hit Japan were back in 1971. During August and September of that year, three typhoons struck causing millions of pounds worth of damage and claiming 170 lives.