Tropical storm Etau caused a very heavy rainfall resulting in a deluge at Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures. The near-daily rainfall has inundated 60 centimeters (2 feet) of rain over some areas since Monday. In parts of Tochigi, more than 50 centimeters (1.6 feet) of rain fell in 24 hours which is twice the amount for September.
Fukushima prefecture witnessed more than 30 centimeters (1 foot) of rain in 48 hours — the heaviest downpour there in 50 years.
Inundated parts of eastern Japan will get another 5-10 centimeters (2-4 inches) of rain over the next 36 hours, CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam said Thursday. The mountains will help induce more rain and will funnel the precipitation — intensifying flooding and causing an even greater risk of mudslides. Heavy flooding over Eastern Japan washed away houses. More than 170,000 residents were evacuated. 175 had been rescued from rooftops by the daring Japanese Self-Defense Forces and firefighters.
“Tochigi Prefecture is facing a grave danger and is in an emergency situation,” Japan Meteorological Agency Spokesman Takuya Deshimaru said. “It is experiencing unprecedented downpour.” Ibaraki prefecture said 70 people out of the 176 there who had called for help had been rescued.