Japan news agency releases terrifying images of Joso floods

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The north-east and central part of Japan has been affected by sudden flooding and landslides, that have eventually forced around one lakh people to abandon their homes.

The Kinugawa River in Joso
The Kinugawa River in Joso

Rescue workers are trying to reach the flood-affected areas and help victims by lifting them from their rooftops with the help of helicopters. The rescue team is also helping motorists stranded near Tokyo, where the Kinugawa river burst its banks resulting in the inundation of the nearby areas including Tochigi, Ibaraki and Fukushima prefectures.

A helicopter rescue team plucks a man from his rooftop as floodwaters surge below
A helicopter rescue team plucks a man from his rooftop as floodwaters surge below

The chief forecaster at the Japan Meteorological Agency, Takuya Deshimaru, said on Thursday, “These heavy rains are unprecedented. We can say this is an abnormal situation and there is imminent serious danger.”

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According top local media reports, one person has been reported missing in the region and at least 12 are injured.

Emergency weather warnings were extended from Tochigi prefecture to Ibaraki prefecture, where the Kinugawa river flooded streets
Emergency weather warnings were extended from Tochigi prefecture to Ibaraki prefecture, where the Kinugawa river flooded streets

Japanese public broadcaster, NHK said that the rains came a day after a tropical storm had caused winds of up to 125km/h (78mph) in central Aichi prefecture. In Tochigi, more than 500mm (19 inches) of rain was registered in 24 hours. While parts of central Tochigi have seen almost 60cm of rainfall since Monday evening, breaking all previous records.

The NHK broadcaster conveyed a message to the residents saying, “Please continue to ask for help. Please do not give up hope.”

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the government is on high alert and the authorities were doing their best. He told reporters, “The government will stand united and do its best to deal with the disaster… by putting its highest priority on people’s lives.”

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Meanwhile, a spokesman for operator Tokyo Electric Power said that huge volumes of water, used to cool the plant’s crippled reactors, are being stored at the site.

A woman is rescued by police officers at a residential area flooded by the Kinugawa river in Joso, Ibaraki prefecture. (Reuters: Kyodo)
A woman is rescued by police officers at a residential area flooded by the Kinugawa river in Joso, Ibaraki prefecture. (Reuters: Kyodo)

Last month, a powerful typhoon Goni had hit Japan’s southernmost main island of Kyushu, killing at least one person and injuring 70 others.

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