Torrential rain causes flooding and landslides in Japan

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Two days of torrential rain caused flooding and landslides across much of Japan this week. The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said three people died, including a woman in her 60s who was found after a landslide hit houses in Kanuma city, and a woman in her 40s who was in a car that washed away in Kurihara city. A man in his 20s died after falling into a drainage ditch in Nikko city.

Some 190 miles north of Joso, another river overflowed into the city of Osaki on Friday morning, swamping homes and fields and stranding at least 60 people, according to media reports.

But the hardest-hit place appeared to be Joso, 30 miles northeast of Tokyo. The fast-rising waters in the city of 60,000 people led to a series of dramatic rescues by helicopters on Thursday.

Police and other emergency workers fanned out the next morning to search for the missing, while helicopters and boats brought in more of the stranded. More than 280 people have been airlifted out since the serious flooding began.

City officials said 22 people were missing after they had lost contact with them following requests for rescue. Three others were injured, one seriously. More than 3,500 people were staying in schools, community centers and other buildings converted to evacuation centers.

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