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30,000 people flee their homes in Japanese flood chaos

By AP Reporter

Floodwaters have swamped a city near Tokyo, washing away houses and forcing dozens of people to rooftops where they had to be rescued by helicopters.

More than 30,000 people fled their homes and hundreds more were stranded by the water as heavy rain hit Japan for a second consecutive day.

The Kinugawa River broke through a flood embankment, sending water gushing into the eastern half of Joso, a city of 60,000 people about 30 miles north-east of Tokyo.

Aerial videos showed a wide swath of cityscape under water, more than one storey deep in some places. The rain follows tropical storm Etau, which caused flooding and landslides elsewhere on Wednesday as it crossed central Japan.

The Fire and Disaster and Management Agency said 22 people had been injured by the storms over the past two days, including three elderly women who were seriously hurt when strong winds knocked them over.

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