Tropical Storm Talas leaves at least 30 dead in Japan

Satellite image of Tropical Storm Talas on September 1, 2011, as it nears central Japan. Image Credit: NASA Goddard/MODIS Rapid Response Team

Talas, the 12th named storm of the 2011 Pacific typhoon season, has left over 30 people dead in Japan, with an estimated 50 more still missing. Talas was a slow-moving tropical storm that moved over parts of Japan from September 1-4, 2011, producing major flooding.

Flooding in Kiho, Japan from Talas. Image Credit: Kyodo News/AP

Talas, a large cyclone, moved very slowly to the northwest, approaching the central part of Japan. It caused the most damage on the Kii Peninsula in central Japan, which is a couple of hundred miles southwest of Tokyo. Many neighborhoods were flooded out, and many rescue workers had to use ropes to pull people out of the flood waters.  According to Kyodo News, Tropical Storm Talas knocked out electricity and telephone lines in Mie, Nara and Wakayama prefectures, with nearly 194,000 households in the Kansai Electric Power Company’s service area experiencing blackouts as of this morning (September 5).

Track of Talas moving into central Japan. Image Credit: CIMSS

Summary: Tropical Storm Talas, a tropical cyclone in the western Pacific ocean, pushed into central portions of Japan over the weekend (September 1-4) and generated fearsome rain and floods. Over 30 people died as Talas moved slowly over the region.  As of today, September 5, 2011, at least 50 people are still missing. Search-and-rescue is ongoing today and expected to continue at least into tomorrow.

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