Two fierce storms are causing devastation with scores of people dead or missing in East Asia. In Japan, the approaching Tropical Storm Etau triggered mudslides and floods. More than 47,000 people in western Japan were told to evacuate.
Meteorologists are forecasting wind gusts of up to 126 kilometres an hour. Tropical storms and typhoons regularly hit the region in the second half of the year, gathering strength from the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean. Typhoon Morakot killed 11 people in the Philippines before sweeping on to Taiwan and China. Morakot then battered China’s heavily populated East Coast, collapsing more than 1,800 houses in Zhejiang province. Chinese authorities ordered more than one million people to evacuate before the typhoon made landfall. Before Morakot reached mainland China it swept across Taiwan bringing torrential rain that triggered mudslides. There are reports that one massive mudslide has consumed an entire village, burying up to 600 residents. Local officials said they were unable to reach the village in southern Taiwan as road access had been completely severed.