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Typhoon Wipha hits Tokyo area, killing at least 18

By Yoko Wakatsuki, Junko Ogura and Katie Hunt, CNN
October 17, 2013 -- Updated 0359 GMT (1159 HKT)
Rescue workers look for survivors as they stand on the rubble of a house buried by mudslides after a powerful typhoon hit Oshima island, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of Tokyo on Wednesday. Rescue workers look for survivors as they stand on the rubble of a house buried by mudslides after a powerful typhoon hit Oshima island, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of Tokyo on Wednesday.
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Island hard hit
House crushed
Landslides
High winds
Typhoon rubble
Commuters caught
Strongest in a decade
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: 18 people have died, 44 missing after Typhoon Wipha hits the Tokyo area
  • Oshima, a small island south of Tokyo, has been hardest hit
  • More than 500 domestic and international flights were canceled
  • The typhoon is moving north along the Pacific coast of Japan

Tokyo (CNN) -- At least 18 people have died and 44 people are missing after Typhoon Wipha pummeled the Tokyo area on Wednesday.

The majority died after heavy rain triggered flooding and landslides that blocked roads and crushed houses in Oshima, a small island 120 km (75 miles) south of Tokyo, a local official said.

One woman died in the Tokyo metropolitan area but the capital was largely spared significant damage.

Forty one people were still missing on the offshore island as of Thursday morning local time.

iReport: Heavy winds near Tokyo as Typhoon Wipha hits

More than 500 domestic and international flights were canceled at Tokyo's Narita and Haneda airports and the national rail operator halted bullet train services in central and northern Japan.

The typhoon moved north along the Pacific coast of Japan and was expected to reach the northernmost island of Hokkaido by late Wednesday.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the main electricity supplier in Tokyo and central Japan, said blackouts affected more than 56,000 households.

TEPCO, which has been struggling to deal with a series of leaks at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, said workers at the plant were "on vigil" and accumulated rainwater had been released from storage tanks.

Typhoon Nari pounds the Philippines, killing 13

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