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Helicopters pluck homeowners to security as rains eyelash Japan


Kyodo News by means of AP

An individual inside a house waves to a helicopter as your house is submerged in water flooded from a river in Joso, Ibaraki prefecture, northeast of Tokyo Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015. Heavy rain is pummeling Japan for a 2nd straight day, overflowing rivers and triggering landslides and localized flooding in the eastern part of the country.

Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015|12:20 a.m.

TOKYO– Japanese military helicopters plucked dozens of locals from the tops of their homes Thursday, however rescue officials said they were not able to stay up to date with the pleas for aid after raving floodwaters overloaded parts of a city north of Tokyo.

As heavy rain pounded Japan for a 2nd straight day, the Kinugawa River broke through a flood berm, sending a wall of water into Joso, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) northeast of Japan’s capital.

National broadcaster NHK showed aerial video of rescuers lowered from helicopters and climbing onto second-floor terraces to reach stranded locals. There were no instant reports of deaths or injuries.

In one dramatic scene, the rescuer could be seen coming down four times from a military helicopter over a 20-minute period to lift up 4 people one-by-one, as a deluge of water swept around their house.

Close by a guy clung to an utility pole as the waters rose, prior to being used up by a rescuer who needed to be first reduced into the water so her could make his way over to the man.

Others waved cloths from their deck as torrents of water removed cars and knocked buildings off their structures.

Japan’s Kyodo news service reported that 39 people had actually been rescued by Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, as its armed force is called, and rescue work was continuing.

Akira Motokawa, a city evacuation official, told NHK that rescuers have actually been unable to react to the volume of calls for assistance.

The Transportation Ministry approximated that 6,900 homes have actually been impacted by the flooding, Kyodo said, adding just about 2,500 of the city’s residents had actually been evacuated beforehand to shelters. The floodwaters reached a minimum of 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the breach.

Tokyo was soaked with rain, but the hardest-hit location was to the north in Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures. One female was missing out on hours after a landslide struck residences at the foot of a steep, wooded slope. Bullet train service was partially suspended.

The rains began the heels of Hurricane Etau, which triggered comparable flooding and landslides Wednesday as it crossed main Japan.

The Fire and Disaster and Management Agency said 15 people were hurt by Etau, two seriously, both elderly women who were overturned by strong winds.