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At Least 4 Killed as Typhoon Chata'an Crosses Japan - 2002-07-11


At least four people were killed, including two children, and three other people are missing after Tropical Storm Chata'an roared across Japan. Chata'an, which has been downgraded to a tropical storm from a typhoon, has turned inland, heading across Japan's northern island of Hokkaido.

Among the storm's victims are two children and two elderly people, all caught in floods or mudslides.

Authorities said some 165,000 people were told to evacuate their homes after numerous rivers along Japan's Pacific coast threatened to overflow their banks. Landslides struck more than 150 locations; seven bridges were washed away, and thousands of houses flooded. Meteorologists recorded, in some areas, as much as 300 millimeters of rain in 24 hours.

As the storm headed north, people began taking stock of the damage. An elderly woman said she think it will take at least a week to clean her flooded home.

A man said his home was more severely damaged than expected. He adds that restoring it will be a lot of work, and he has no idea where to begin.

The storm skirted past the capital, and rail traffic and local flights in and out of Tokyo were mostly running on schedule Thursday, after severe disruptions Wednesday. Northern Japan, however, is still seeing some transportation delays.

Typhoon Chata'an killed at least 39 people on the Micronesian island of Chuuk in the western Pacific last week, before brushing past the Philippines. Several dozen people died in floods in the Philippines. The storm also battered the U.S. territory of Guam, and most of its 150,000 residents are still without power a week later.

Guam escaped further damage Wednesday, when Typhoon Halong blew past the island. In Taiwan, Tropical Storm Nakri caused mudslides and floods before moving out into the Pacific.

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