Thousands evacuate as Japanese city of Joso hit by ‘once in 50 years’ rains
Unprecedented rain in Japan unleashed heavy floods on Friday that tore houses from their foundations, uprooted trees and forced more than 100,000 people from their homes.
Torrential rainfall in short span wrecks havoc in the city
Helicopters hovering over swirling, muddy waters rescued many people from the roofs of their homes. Seven people were missing and at least 17 were injured, one seriously. Some areas received double the usual September rainfall in 48 hours after tropical storm Etau swept across Japan’s main island of Honshu. In some places, rain-swollen rivers burst their banks.
The city of Joso, north of the capital, Tokyo, was hit by a wall of water after the Kinugawa River burst its banks.
The rains come a day after a tropical storm brought winds of up to 125km/h (78mph) to central Aichi prefecture. The chief forecaster at the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Takuya Deshimaru, said that the rainfall was “unprecedented” for that part of Japan.
The government set up an emergency center, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a meeting of ministers that the “unprecedented” rain had created an emergency.