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2nd River in Japan Bursts Banks; Dozens Stranded

  • VOA News

Electric poles tilt damaged after floods hit Joso, Ibaraki prefecture, northeast of Tokyo, Friday, Sept. 11, 2015.

Electric poles tilt damaged after floods hit Joso, Ibaraki prefecture, northeast of Tokyo, Friday, Sept. 11, 2015.

A second river in typhoon-hit northern Japan has burst its banks, stranding dozens more residents and putting more pressure on rescue officials dealing with the region's worst flooding in decades.

The Shibui River overwhelmed rice fields and houses early Friday in the largely rural town of Osaki, about 350 kilometers north of Tokyo. Officials say at least 40 people are stranded.

Rescuers also rushed Friday to save hundreds of stranded residents in Joso City, also north of Tokyo, where the Kinugawa River broke though barriers a day earlier, sending people climbing to balconies and rooftops seeking help.

An elderly man is rescued by a firefighter at a residential area flooded by the Kinugawa river, caused by typhoon Etau in Joso, Ibaraki prefecture, Japan, Sept. 11, 2015.

An elderly man is rescued by a firefighter at a residential area flooded by the Kinugawa river, caused by typhoon Etau in Joso, Ibaraki prefecture, Japan, Sept. 11, 2015.

Rescue operation

Military helicopters and boats rescued dozens of residents overnight Thursday from rooftops in Joso. Officials say at least 25 people are missing there.

Japan has seen extensive rains this week from what was Typhoon Etau, with rainfall totals in some areas exceeding 60 centimeters.

So far, officials say three people have died in the flooding, including a 63-year-old woman killed after being swept away by a landslide in Kanuma, north of Joso.

In all, more than 100,000 people in northeast Japan have been ordered to leave because of the storm.

Landslide warning

Japan's Metrological Agency has posted widespread warnings, urging people to be ready for more flooding and landslides.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed Thursday to focus on the hardest hit areas and "prioritize the safety of the people."

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