More than 100 stranded in flood-stricken eastern Japan


More than 100 residents were stranded in eastern Japan Saturday two days after torrential rains and flooding struck the region, leaving 15 people unaccounted for, authorities said.

About 4,800 residents spent another uneasy night at 28 shelters in Joso and neighbouring areas after the Kinugawa River burst its banks Thursday, inundating residential areas and farm fields in Joso, 45 kilometres north-east of Tokyo, city officials said.

Helicopters had pulled some 1,100 people from the roofs of their homes and commercial buildings in the city, and some residents had been rescued by boats as more than 11,000 households had suffered flood damage, Jiji Press reported.

Of the 22 people missing in Joso as of Friday, the safety of seven including two children had been confirmed by Saturday morning, Kyodo News agency reported, citing local officials.

The government “will do all it can to swiftly repair the broken levees and remove water as quickly as possible” from flooded areas, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said after visiting Ibaraki prefecture.

Heavy rains, flooding and mudslides also hit the prefectures of Tochigi and Miyagi, leaving three dead and one missing in the region.