Severe flood hits Japan city

Severe flood hits Japan city

Yvonne Williams

Military helicopters have plucked residents from the top floors of their homes after raging floodwaters poured in and inundated a wide swath of a city north of Tokyo.

As heavy rain pummeled Japan for a second straight day, the Kinugawa River broke through a flood berm on Thursday, sending a tsunami-like wall of water into Joso, about 50km northeast of Japan’s capital.

National broadcaster NHK showed aerial footage of rescuers lowered from helicopters and clambering onto second-floor balconies to reach stranded residents.

In one dramatic rescue by a military helicopter, the rescuer could be seen descending four times over about a 20-minute period to take four people up one-by-one, as a deluge of water swept around the home.

Yuko Yoshida from the Japanese Red Cross told Al Jazeera that the exact number of those in need of emergency rescue was not known because many people had evacuated before the rains came in.

“From our assumptions, the government has managed this situation well. Medical facilities are operating,” Yoshida said.

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