Typhoon Talas leaves 20 dead in Japan after coming ashore at Shikoku island


People arrange sandbags in an effort to protect a residential area from floodwater caused by Typhoon Talas at Higashiyama on September 3, 2011 in Himeji, Japan. The Japan Meteorological Agency has issued heavy rain and wind warnings. 30,000 people have been advised to evacuate areas across of Western Japan as the typhoon sweeps in from the Pacific.


Buddhika Weerasinghe

Typhoon Talas tore through western Japan's Shikoku and Kinki regions over the weekend, leaving 20 people dead and more than 55 missing in six prefectures, according to local media reports.

The powerful typhoon passed into the Sea of Japan on Sunday via Okayama and Tottori prefectures after cutting off power and damaging roads throughout the region.

The dead included 12 people in Wakayama prefecture and three in Nara prefecture, and the death toll may yet rise, the Kyodo News agency reports.

NHK, Japan's public broadcaster, reports that nearly 100 people have been injured.

When Typhoon Talas made landfall on Shikoku island Saturday, it brought heavy rain and winds of up to 68 mph, Kyodo says.

More from GlobalPost: Tropical storm Talas hits Japan

Evacuation orders were issued to 460,000 people in western and central Japan, the Associated Press reports.

Japan's Meteorological Agency said the slow-moving storm typhoon could still bring heavy rains to parts of Japan, potentially causing more mudslides and flooding.

Kyodo says the typhoon caused minor damage to Nijo Castle in Kyoto — a site designated by Japan's government as an important cultural property — dislodging a piece of plaster from the wall of one of the gates.

Japan has experienced few typhoons since 1990 in which the combined number of dead and missing has topped or neared 50, according to Reuters.