According to local reports, the woman in her 70s died after she fell more than 131 feet while she was being placed in a rescue helicopter.
The Tokyo Fire Department said the woman had not been strapped in properly while being airlifted in Iwaki City in Fukushima prefecture, a northern area devastated by the typhoon, Sky News reported.
A resident is rescued by a Japan Self-Defense Force helicopter as the house is submerged in muddy waters after an embankment of the Chikuma River broke because of Typhoon Hagibis, in Nagano, central Japan, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. Rescue efforts for people stranded in flooded areas are in full force after a powerful typhoon dashed heavy rainfall and winds through a widespread area of Japan, including Tokyo.(Yohei Kanasashi/Kyodo News via AP)
The death toll from a ferocious typhoon in Japan climbed to as high as 33, as one elderly woman fell to her death as she was being placed inside a rescue helicopter, according to reports.
The Tokyo Fire Department said a woman in her 70s was accidentally dropped 131 feet to the ground while being transported into a rescue helicopter in Iwaki city in Fukushima prefecture, a northern area devastated by the typhoon.
Department officials held a news conference to apologize, bowing deeply and long, according to Japanese custom, and acknowledged the woman had not been strapped in properly.
This Oct. 12, 2019 photo by @ar_kaz shows the flooded streets in Kawasaki, near Tokyo, Japan. Helicopters plucked people from their flooded homes on Sunday as rescue efforts went into full force in wide areas of Japan, including Tokyo, after a powerful typhoon unleashed heavy rainfall.(@ar_kaz via AP)
Officials said at least 33 people have died in the ferocious typhoon and more than 19 reported missing.
“The major typhoon has caused immense damage far and wide in eastern Japan,” government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said, as Sky News reported.
The government’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency, which tends to be conservative in its counts, said late Sunday that 14 people died, 11 were missing and 187 were injured as a result of the typhoon. It said 1,283 homes were flooded and 517 were damaged, partially or totally.
Houses are submerged in muddy waters in Sukagawa, Fukushima prefecture, as Typhoon Hagibis hits the area, northern Japan, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. Rescue efforts for people stranded in flooded areas are in full force after a powerful typhoon dashed heavy rainfall and winds through a widespread area of Japan, including Tokyo.(Takuya Inaba/Kyodo News via AP)
Among the reported deaths were those whose homes were buried in landslides. Other fatalities included people who got swept away by raging rivers.
The authorities had repeatedly warned that Hagibis was on par with a typhoon that wreaked havoc on the Tokyo region in 1958, but the safety infrastructure that Japan’s modernization has brought was apparent. The typhoon six decades ago left more than 1,200 people dead and half a million houses flooded.
The typhoon made landfall south of Tokyo on Saturday evening and battered central and northern Japan with torrents of rain and powerful gusts of wind. The typhoon was downgraded to a tropical storm on Sunday.
The Rugby World Cup match between Namibia and Canada, scheduled for Sunday in Kamaishi, in northern Japan, was canceled as a precautionary measure, but Japan played Scotland, to a win, as scheduled Sunday evening.
Fox News’ Travis Fedschun and the Associated Press contributed to this report.