Tropical depression leaves 17 dead in Japan

TOKYO Sun Sep 4, 2011 1:29pm BST

An aerial view shows houses submerged in flood water caused by the strong tropical storm Talas in Kiho town, Mie prefecture, in western Japan September 4, 2011. REUTERS/Kyodo

An aerial view shows houses submerged in flood water caused by the strong tropical storm Talas in Kiho town, Mie prefecture, in western Japan September 4, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Kyodo

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Tropical depression Talas, downgraded earlier from tropical storm, pounded western Japan with heavy rain at the weekend, leaving 17 people dead and a few dozens missing, public broadcaster NHK said on Sunday.

But there were no reports of major disruption to factory production, and Tokyo Electric Power Co said its tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, located in northern Japan, has not been affected by the storm.

Talas, which made landfall in Japan's western island of Shikoku on Saturday, and cut through the country's main island by early Sunday morning, was off the nation's western coast on Sunday afternoon, moving north-northeast at 10 kms per hour (6 mph), the Meteorological Agency said.

Television showed mudslides and flattened wooden houses by a swollen, dark brown river in western Japan's Nara prefecture.

A Meteorological Agency official said some more rain is expected even though the storm's centre has moved past Japan and that residents should stay on alert.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Ed Lane)

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