Tokyo - The search resumed on Monday for 19 people still missing after last
week's typhoon-sparked landslides on a Japanese island, as meteorologists
warned of another "very strong" storm.
Following a weekend hiatus because of rough weather, emergency crews were
back combing through the tonnes of mud that engulfed houses overnight Tuesday
on Oshima, an island 120km south of Tokyo.
The weekend's heavy rain brought more misery to the island after the
landslides, which killed at least 27 people, with 2 300 residents advised to
leave their homes for fear of further calamity.
With the advisory lifted as of 08:00 (23:00 GMT on Sunday), around 1 200
police officers, rescue workers and soldiers were back at their grim task, an
"As the [next] typhoon is coming and rain is expected to start falling
again, we would like to do as much searching as possible beforehand, and return
the missing to their families," Oshima mayor Masafumi Kawashima said.
"The town [has] advised residents to return home for now and calmly
prepare for the next evacuation."
Typhoon Francisco, which forecasters say is "very strong", was
approaching Japan, moving north-northwest at the speed of 10km per hour in an
area east of the Philippines, the Japan Meteorological Agency said on Monday
Francisco is expected to reach Japan's southern island chain of Okinawa by
Thursday morning, it said.