MOSCOW, August 10 (RIA Novosti) - At least 12 people have died in torrential rains and floods in western Japan which was hit by typhoon Etau, the Kyodo News agency said on Monday citing local police.
Police said 11 people died in Hyogo prefecture, about 500 kilometers (310 miles) west of Tokyo, and one person was killed in the neighboring Okayama prefecture. At least 10 people are reported missing.
Police also said some 500 houses in Hyogo alone were flooded, and about 2,200 people were evacuated from their homes to public schools.
Municipal governments in both prefectures have asked for assistance of Japan's Self-Defense Forces in rescue operations.
Japan's Meteorological Agency warned of heavy rains and landslides in eastern Japan as Etau heads north.
Twelve people died in Taiwan over the weekend as Typhoon Morakot swept across the island causing the worst flooding in half a century. At least 52 people were missing on Sunday.
China evacuated 1 million people from costal regions as Morakot battered communities there. One child was reported dead before the typhoon weakened to a storm.
A Pacific typhoon or tropical storm is a tropical cyclone that forms in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. The peak season for typhoons runs from May to November, although they can occur at other times of the year as well.
Unlike hurricanes, typhoons are not named after people. Instead, they generally refer to animals, flowers, astrological signs, and a few personal names.
"Etau" is the Palauan word for "storm cloud" while "morakot" means "emerald" in Thai.
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