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100,000 People Flee Homes As "Unprecedented" Floods Hit Japan

Buildings were swept away as heavy rains hit the northern city of Joso, causing the Kinugawa River to breach its banks.

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Heavy rainfall has led to major flooding in central Japan, causing tens of thousands of people to flee their homes, while dozens more were stranded, and entire buildings were swept away.

Jiji Press / AFP / Getty Images

A hotel building falls into the floodwaters at Nikko mountain resort in Tochigi prefecture, north of Tokyo.

The city of Joso, a little more than 30 miles north of Tokyo in Ibaraki prefecture, was among the worst-affected places. The rains caused the Kinugawa River to flood, and a wall of water to roll through the city's streets.

Takuya Deshimaru, chief forecaster at the Japan Meteorological Agency, said the rains were "unprecedented" for the region, adding: "We can say this is an abnormal situation and there is imminent serious danger."

Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Francis Whittaker at francis.whittaker@buzzfeed.com.

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