Fox News Weather Center

Historic Flooding Strikes Japanese City of Joso in Wake of Etau

Days of heavy rainfall have left parts of Japan dealing with historic flooding as rain from former Tropical Storm Etau continues to fall.

Rainfall totals of 150-300 mm (6-12 inches) were common across southern and central Honshu with localized amounts exceeding 600 mm (24 inches).

Some of the hardest-hit areas include Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures where emergency weather warnings remain in effect as of Thursday night, local time. Nasushiobara in Tochigi Prefecture reported more than 550 mm (22 inches) of rain in only 24 hours from Wednesday into Thursday.

Rainfall rates greater than 50 mm (2 inches) per hour were recorded across these prefectures on Thursday as the Kinugawa River broke through a flood berm sending a surge of flood waters rushing into the city of Joso.

The flood waters rushed into the city of 60,000 people at 12:50 p.m., local time, according to the Associated Press.

Flood waters more than a story deep have been reported in the city leading to numerous aerial rescues as people took refuge on the roofs of buildings.

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force performing a rescue in Ibaraki Prefecture on Thursday, (Twitter/JGSDF_pr).

Akira Motokawa, a city evacuation official, reported to Japan's national public broadcasting organization that rescuers have been unable to keep up with the requests coming in across the city.

As darkness settled on the city Thursday evening, hundreds of people were still waiting to be rescued, including many trapped on the roof of a shopping center and another large group in a nursing home.

Accuweather Meteorologist Anthony Sagliani added, "Heavy rain will come to an end across most of central and northern Honshu on Friday, though a few showers and perhaps a thunderstorm will linger. Tropical Storm Kilo will bring rain and some wind to far northern Hokkaido and the Kuril Islands of Russia."

Even though the worst flooding has been reported to the north of Tokyo, the city has received more than 250 mm (10 inches) of rain since Tuesday leading to localized flooding and numerous travel delays.

Mudslides and strong winds are responsible for at least 22 injuries across central Japan this week in additional the flooding disaster, according to Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency.