Japanese premier visits typhoon-stricken areas

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday travelled to areas in north-eastern Japan, devastated by a recent deadly typhoon.

Abe visited emergency shelters in Fukushima prefecture and talked to residents affected by Typhoon Hagibis over the weekend.

Hagibis, one of the most powerful typhoons to hit Japan in decades, ripped through the central, eastern and north-eastern parts of the country, leaving 77 dead and nine missings, according to a broadcaster NHK tally.

Hagibis dumped record-breaking rainfall across the regions, triggering flooding and landslides.

The typhoon inundated more than 33,000 houses, 1,700 of which were heavily damaged, according to NHK.

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Of the 77 deaths, 28 were in Fukushima prefecture, the site of the 2011 triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, which was hit by a powerful earthquake and ensuing tsunami.

Abe told Fukushima Governor, Masao Uchibori that he had witnessed the devastation of the typhoon and vowed to “do our utmost for the recovery and support for disaster victims’’.

Abe’s government decided on Wednesday to set aside 710 million yen (6.5 million dollars) to deal with the aftermath of Hagibis. It is also considering compiling a supplementary budget to help support recovery efforts.

The Japan Meteorological Agency forecast heavy rains for the disaster-hit regions over the weekend, warning of flooding and mudslides.