National News

Japan typhoon death toll rises to 66

The death toll in the worst typhoon to hit Japan for decades has climbed to 66 as rescuers slog through mud and debris in an increasingly grim search for the missing, and as thousands of homes remain without power or water.

Fifteen people remain missing nearly three days after Typhoon Hagibis smashed into central and eastern Japan, national broadcaster NHK says.

More than 200 people were injured in the storm, whose name means "speed" in the Tagalog language.

About 138,000 households were without water while 24,000 lacked electricity, well down on the hundreds of thousands initially left without power but a cause for concern in northern areas where temperatures are falling.

The highest toll was in Fukushima prefecture north of Tokyo, where levees burst in at least 14 places along the Abukuma River, which meanders through a number of cities in the largely agricultural prefecture.

At least 25 people died in Fukushima, including a mother and child who were caught in flood waters, NHK said on Tuesday.

Another child of the woman remains missing.

Survivors described how water rose rapidly to chest height in about an hour and mainly at night, making it hard to escape to higher ground.

Many of the dead in Fukushima were elderly, NHK said.

Residents in Koriyama, one of Fukushima's larger cities, said they were taken by surprise by the flooding.

Police were searching house-to-house to make sure nobody had been left behind or was in need of help.

Around the nation, manufacturers took stock. Electronics maker Panasonic Corp said flooding had damaged its plant in a large industrial park in Koriyama.

Car makers Nissan, Honda and Subaru said there was no major damage to their factories while Toyota said its plants were operating normally.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned the economic impact could be prolonged and Finance Minister Taro Aso said 500 billion yen ($A6.8 billion) was available for disaster recovery and more money would be considered if needed.

Thousands of police, fire officials and military personnel no Tuesday continued to search for people who may have been cut off by floods and landslides, with hope diminishing the missing would be found alive.

Though the threat of rain is expected to diminish, temperatures are likely to drop in many areas later this week, in some cases to unseasonably low levels, NHK said.

© RAW 2019