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17 dead, 50 missing as typhoon hits Japan

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By The Associated Press
Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 8:45 p.m.

TOKYO — A typhoon caused deadly mudslides that buried people and destroyed homes on a Japanese island on Wednesday before sweeping up the Pacific coast, grounding hundreds of flights and disrupting Tokyo's transportation during the morning rush. At least 17 deaths were reported, and nearly 50 people were missing.

Hardest hit from Typhoon Wipha was Izu Oshima island, which is about 75 miles south of Tokyo. Rescuers found 16 bodies, most of them buried by mudslides, police and town officials said. Dozens of homes were destroyed, and about 45 people were missing.

A woman from Tokyo died after falling into a river and being washed six miles downriver to Yokohama, police said. Two sixth-grade boys and another person were missing on Japan's main island, Honshu, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said.

More than 350 homes were damaged or destroyed, including 283 on Izu Oshima, it said.

The typhoon, which stayed offshore in the Pacific, had sustained winds of 78 miles per hour, with gusts up to 110 mph, before it was downgraded to a tropical storm on Wednesday evening. The storm was moving northeast, off the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

More than 30 inches of rain fell on Izu Oshima during a 24-hour period ending Wednesday morning, the most since record-keeping began in 1991.

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