Helicopters began ferrying supplies Tuesday in Japan after it was hit by the worst typhoon in seven years and victims are in serious need of help.
The storm has left at least 37 dead and 54 missing in a nation still struggling to recover from its devastating tsunami just six months ago. Aid-laden helicopters descended on towns in the hardest-hit areas as police, firefighters and soldiers mobilized to clear roads so that they could distribute food, medicine and other assistance to communities.
Dozens of hamlets in central Japan were still cut off. This was due primarily because of flooding, landslides or other damage to access roads. More than 3,000 remained in evacuation centers.
About a half million people were advised to evacuate before the typhoon struck. It then dumped record amounts of rain on central and western Japan and lashed wide swaths of the country with destructive winds before being downgraded to a tropical storm.
Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency said 37 deaths had been confirmed and 54 people were still missing Tuesday.
The path of the typhoon did not take it over the tsunami-devastated northeast coast, where nearly 21,000 people were killed or are missing after the March 11 disaster.
But as the eye of the slow-moving storm hovered offshore in the Sea of Japan on Tuesday, heavy rains began to fall anew on the northern island of Hokkaido.