Woman dropped from rescue chopper among 19 dead from Typhoon Hagibis
Thousands of troops carried out a massive rescue operation across Japan on Sunday as the death toll from Typhoon Hagibis rose to at least 19 — including an elderly woman dropped from a rescue chopper.
The woman, in her 70s, was being transported into a helicopter in Iwaki city when she was accidentally dropped about 130 feet to the ground, the Tokyo Fire Department said.
She was rushed to a hospital but couldn’t be saved, a department official said.
While the devastating typhoon was downgraded to a tropical storm Sunday, there are still more than a dozen people missing along with the 19 confirmed dead, according to officials.
Authorities warned of a risk of mudslides, with some of the reported deaths in homes that were buried in landslides. Other fatalities included people who got swept away by raging rivers.
A 50-year-old man died near Tokyo in a car overturned by punishing winds, while another was killed after being washed away in a vehicle.
The military sent 27,000 troops to join other rescue crews in a massive operation using numerous helicopters, boats and tractors, government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said.
“The major typhoon has caused immense damage far and wide in eastern Japan,” Suga said.
At least 14 rivers across the nation have flooded, according to public broadcaster NHK, with footage also showing rows of Japan’s prized bullet trains sitting in a pool of water.
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