Typhoon Bart Ravages Japan

Typhoon Bart headed toward northern Japan Friday after unleashing savage rains and winds that shattered glass and knocked over cranes in other parts of the country. At least 26 people have been killed and 458 others injured.

Also Friday, a tornado unrelated to the storm swirled through a city in central Japan, slightly injuring 262 people, mostly schoolchildren hit by glass from shattered windows. The twister swept through Toyohashi, 140 miles west of Tokyo, for about 30 minutes this morning, destroying three homes and damaging dozens of others.

Packing winds of up to 78 mph, Bart was traveling over the ocean off the western coast of Japan late Friday, the Meteorological Agency said. Moving northeast at 40 mph, Bart was expected to hit the northernmost island of Hokkaido early Saturday.

On the southwestern island of Kyushu, the bodies of 14 people -- including two elderly women -- were recovered from homes submerged by high sea waves in Shiranui, a coastal town in Kumamoto prefecture, 560 miles southwest of Tokyo.

Also in Kumamoto, a 79-year-old man was found dead of electric shock from a power line that had fallen onto a street. A 50-year-old man died from blood loss after he was hit by broken glass in his home, police spokesman Shigeji Tominaga said.

In Hiroshima, 430 miles southwest of Tokyo, two factory cranes toppled by strong winds crashed on a building, killing three workers and injuring one, police said.

A 50-year-old man died Thursday as the typhoon approached Kyushu. He was swept away in strong waves while trying to swim ashore after securing his boat.

The National Police Agency said 245 landslides were reported, 22 homes were totally destroyed and more than 4,000 homes were flooded.

Most domestic air flights and trains on Kyushu were either canceled or suspended.

Earlier on Okinawa, 1,000 miles southwest of Tokyo, 24 people were injured and about 110,000 homes suffered power outages. Dozens of homes were flooded. Television footage showed some cars turned upside down.

Written by Kozo Mizoguchi
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