150,000 Ordered to Evacuate in Japan Flooding

TOKYO  (dpa/TNS) -
People wait for help in a flooded street in Joso, Ibaraki prefecture, northeast of Tokyo, on Thursday.  (Kyodo News via AP)
People wait for help in a flooded street in Joso, Ibaraki prefecture, northeast of Tokyo, on Thursday. (Kyodo News via AP)

Some 150,000 people were ordered to evacuate their homes Thursday as torrential rains, flooding and mudslides hit eastern Japan, local media reported.

Ten people were reported to be missing, including at least nine residents who were swept away after the Kinugawa River breached its banks in Joso, a city 25 miles northeast of Tokyo.

The floodwaters inundated hundreds of houses and left about 200 residents stranded, news agency Jiji Press reported, citing local authorities.

One woman was missing after mudslides triggered by heavy rain struck her house in the city of Kanuma, broadcaster NHK said.

About 100 people in the region have been rescued by helicopter, Jiji said.

Footage showed a bridge washed away by a swollen river in the northeastern town of Minami Aizu, and some houses swept away in Kanuma.

In the city of Nikko, north of Tokyo, one man was feared dead after he fell into a ditch and suffered “cardiopulmonary arrest,” broadcaster NHK reported.

The total rainfall since Monday was more than 23 inches in the city, a level not seen in decades, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

The region “is facing an imminent grave danger,” Takuya Deshimaru, a meteorological agency official, told a news conference Thursday, referring to the prefectures of Ibaraki and Tochigi.

The agency was warning of further mudslides and swollen rivers in eastern and northeastern Japan, with heavy rain pounding the region even after Typhoon Etau weakened into an extratropical depression late Wednesday.

The season’s 18th typhoon hit central Japan on Wednesday, injuring 11 people.