「事態重大的局面」，栃木縣破了50年來的最大降雨量 Japan floods in Ibaraki: City of Joso hit by 'unprecedented' rain
Major River Floods in Ibaraki, Eastern Japan - Japan in Depth - News - NHK WORLD - English
A major river has flooded in the eastern Japanese prefecture of Ibaraki, sweeping away homes and stranding many people.
WWW3.NHK.OR.JP|由 NHK (JAPAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION) 上傳
Japan floods: City of Joso hit by 'unprecedented' rain
1 hour ago
From the sectionAsia
Jump media player
Media player help
Out of media player. Press enter to return or tab to continue. Media captionA helicopter rescue team plucks a man from his rooftop as floodwaters surge below
Widespread flooding and landslides in north-east Japan have forced more than 90,000 people to abandon their homes.
The city of Joso, north of the capital, Tokyo, was hit by a wall of water after the Kinugawa River burst its banks. Helicopter rescue teams have been plucking people from rooftops.
One person has been reported missing in the region and at least 12 are injured.
The rains come a day after a tropical storm brought winds of up to 125km/h (78mph) to central Aichi prefecture.
"These heavy rains are unprecedented. We can say this is an abnormal situation and there is imminent serious danger," the chief forecaster at the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Takuya Deshimaru, said on Thursday.
The hardest-hit areas have been Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures. Japan's Meteorological Agency had put both regions on its highest level of alert.
Image copyrightAPImage captionThe Kinugawa River in Joso burst its bank on Thursday, flooding homesImage copyrightReuters/KyodoImage captionEmergency weather warnings were extended from Tochigi prefecture to Ibaraki prefecture, where the Kinugawa river flooded streetsImage copyrightReutersImage captionHeavy rain did not stop a protest against Japan's security bill - one wet protester held a placard reading "stop war"
In pictures: Floods in Japan
Television footage from Joso in Ibaraki showed people clinging to the rooftops before helicopter rescue teams winched them to safety.
Entire homes and cars were carried away on the torrent as the Kinugawa River burst its banks after two days of heavy rainfall.
In Tochigi, more than 500mm (19 inches) of rain fell in 24 hours in places, according to local public broadcaster NHK, which said that was about double what normally falls there throughout the whole of September.
Parts of central Tochigi have seen almost 60cm of rain since Monday evening, breaking records.
Many other areas of eastern and north-eastern Japan have also been issued weather warnings, including Fukushima prefecture, home to the still-damaged nuclear plant hit in 2011's earthquake and tsunami.
The downpour overwhelmed the site's drainage pumps, a spokesman for operator Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) said. Huge volumes of water, used to cool the plant's crippled reactors, are being stored at the site.
Landslides and flooding
The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said 15 people had been injured across Japan. Two were elderly women seriously injured after being knocked over by strong winds.
Local media reported one person missing after a landslide hit a house in Kanuma, Tochigi prefecture.
Some areas had power cuts and transport was disrupted, with many air and train services cancelled or delayed. Some roads were also closed.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the authorities were doing their best.
"The government will stand united and do its best to deal with the disaster... by putting its highest priority on people's lives," he told reporters.
Last month, powerful Typhoon Goni hit Japan's southern