Days after the worst storm in seven years tore through central Japan, another typhoon – the 13th this year – moved in on the country’s northern trip bringing record rainfall. Parts of Hokkaido, Japan’s northern most island got more than 15 inches of rain, triggering flooding and increasing the threat of landslides.
Further south in central Japan, search and rescue crews began airlifting food and water to towns cut off by Typhoon Talas, as the death toll continued to climb. About four dozen people have been confirmed dead, while nearly 60 are still missing. Thousands remain in evacuation centers, and many more are without power. Japanese Self Defense forces moved in on the hardest hit areas by helicopter, to rescue residents, many of them elderly, in need of help.
Amid the massive cleanup effort, a heartwarming story of survival emerged. In the city of Tanabe, where at least four people were still missing, rescuers reported hearing a dog crying beneath all the rubble, in an area where homes were crushed by landslides.
They removed piles of wood and muddy debris, to find a beagle named “Chiro” cradled by his owner Masae Yamamoto. Yamamoto didn’t survive, but Chiro appeared unscathed and in good spirits, despite being covered in dirt. Images on tv, showed the dog eagerly drinking water, while sniffing around for food.
”[Yamamoto] loved dogs,” a relative told NHK. “I believe rescuers were able to find her body so quickly, because of [Chiro].”