Typhoon Talas has killed 29 people in Western Japan as it unleashed record rainfall that triggered landslides and flooding. The typhoon, which is now downgraded to a tropical storm, was the worst to hit the country in seven years. As many as 56 people are missing as the typhoon caused widespread damage.
The typhoon lashed coastal areas with destructive winds and record-setting rains over the weekend before moving offshore into the Sea of Japan (East Sea), according to Associated Press.
The Japan Meteorological Agency briefly classified the storm as a typhoon before it made landfall. But the Joint Typhoon Warning Center recorded the storm making landfall in Japan as a tropical storm, according to the CNN.
According to Japan's meteorological agency, Talas brought record rain in the three prefectures over three days. The Japanese government set up a emergency task force for search-and-rescue operations and to begin reconstruction of damaged communities.
In the Wakayama Prefecture alone, eight people were dead and 32 remained missing as of Sunday, the Prefectural police told Kyodo news.
Evacuation orders and advisories were issued to 460,000 people as the typhoon swept through the region, according to the BBC News. Japan's meteorological agency warned that heavy rains and strong winds would still continue.
Japanese rescue teams have resumed the search as thousands were stranded. The government has set up an emergency task force for search-and-rescue operations, and to begin reconstruction of damaged communities.
Over the weekend, authorities evacuated close to one million people from the region as winds hit up to 68 miles per hour on Sunday. The BBC News reports that villages have been cut off with the bad weather in the mountains making it impossible to reach them by helicopter.
Talas is the most destructive typhoon to strike Japan since 2004 when 98 people were killed or left missing.
The Typhoon has had disastrous consequences for Japan, a country still recovering from the earthquake and Tsunami that caused devastation in March, and entire villages have been flooded and bridges and houses destroyed.