The toll of death and destruction from a massive typhoon that tore through central and northern Japan continued to climb Tuesday, as the government said it was considering approving a special budget for the ongoing disaster response and eventual reconstruction. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a parliamentary session that the number of deaths tied to Typhoon Hagibis had climbed to 53 and was expected to rise, as at least another nine people are presumed dead, the AP reports. Lawmakers prayed in silence for the victims before starting the session. Abe pledged to do the utmost for the safety and rescue of those missing or those who had to evacuate.
Hagibis hit Japan's main island on Saturday, unleashing strong winds and dumping historic rainfall that caused more than 200 rivers in central and northern Japan to overflow, leaving thousands of homes flooded, damaged, or without power. Rescue crews on Tuesday were still searching for those missing, thought to number about 20. Some 34,000 homes remained without power and 110,000 others were without running water. West Japan Railway Co. said its Hokuriku Shinkansen bullet train services connecting Tokyo and Kanazawa in the central north were reduced because of flooding of six trains at its railyard in Nagano. The trains sat in a pool of muddy water that was up to their windows. (A woman in her 70s fell to her death while being transported in a rescue helicopter.)