HT This Day: September 26, 1966 — Over 300 dead, 700 injured in Japan typhoons
More than 300 Japanese were dead or missing today after two typhoons within 24 hours hit central and western Japan.
Police headquarters, gathering casualty figures from damaged prefectures, listed 174 dead, with the figure mounting, and 140 missing. More than 700 were injured.
More than 4,000 homes were destroyed and 40,000 suffered from flood damage. It was Japan’s worst typhoon disaster in six years.
By this evening both typhoons Ida and Helen-had lost most of their fury and been reduced to tropical storms.
Ida hit just south of Tokyo last night with 68-mile an hour winds, swung north over the length of Honshu, the main island, then burst into the Pacific again late today.
Helen struck Shikoku island today with 55-mile an hour winds, passed across the narrow waist of Honshu just south of Osaka then pushed into the Japan Sea.
It was expected to curve eastwards and hit northern Honshu or Hokkaido early tomorrow.
Ida struck central Japan at high tide last night and caused most of the deaths and damage. In a night of howling winds and driving rains, thousands of Japanese fled from their flooded low-lying homes for safer ground.
The typhoon caused serious damage at Tachikawa, U.S. Air Force base, 20 miles west of Tokyo, add AP, AFP.
Hardest hit were the provinces of Shizuoka on the Pacific seaboard and Yamanashi, south-west and west of Tokyo.
In Saiko, Yamanashi prefecture at the foothills of Mount Fuji, 23 villagers were killed and 40 others were missing when two villages were entombed in a massive landslide. Defence forces and police were engaged in frantic rescue operations, digging into the mountainous heaps of earth for survivors.
Elsewhere in the basin area of Yamanashi, a number of landslides and floods were reported destroying houses and roads.
President Radhakrishnan has sent a message of sympathy to the Emperor of Japan on the loss of life and property caused by typhoons there.