Record-breaking rain has battered Japan, sending rivers surging over their banks. The Kinugawa River broke through a breakwater, sending a wall of water into Joso, about 50 kilometres north of Tokyo.

A man in his 70s is believed to have been trapped in his house as it was swept away, NHK national television said. Japanese military helicopters plucked residents from their rooftops, but rescue officials said they were unable to keep up with the pleas for help.

Japan storm Etau floods
Residents wait for rescue helicopters in a flooded residential area of Joso, Ibaraki prefecture, after the Kinugawa river burst its banksKyodo/Reuters
Japan storm Etau floods
A driver is rescued by a rescue helicopter in Joso, Ibaraki prefectureKyodo/Reuters
Japan storm Etau floods
Floodwaters rush through a burst dike into the town of Joso in Ibaraki PrefectureJiji Press/AFP
Japan storm Etau floods
An aerial view of the town of Joso in Ibaraki Prefecture, after the Kinugawa river burst its banksJiji Press/AFP

Part of a hotel in Nikko, a tourist spot popular with foreign tourists, collapsed.

Japan storm Etau floods
Part of a hotel building falls into the floodwaters at Nikko mountain resort in Tochigi prefecture, north of TokyoJiji Press/AFP

At least two people are reported missing and scores are stranded in flooded homes. Some 100,000 have been evacuated across a wide swathe of the country.

"Rare weather warnings" were issued for five million people in eastern Japan, where some areas received more than twice their usual monthly September rain in just 48 hours. The rains came on the heels of Tropical Storm Etau, which caused flooding and landslides.

Japan storm Etau floods
People wait for to be rescued from vehicles as they are stranded on a road flooded by the Kinugawa river in Joso, Ibaraki prefectureKyodo/Reuters
Japan storm Etau floods
Local residents are rescued from their flooded home by helicopterJiji Press/AFP
Japan storm Etau floods
One man sits on the roof of a car while another clings to a utility pole in JosoKyodo/Reuters
Japan storm Etau floods
A local resident is rescued by a helicopter of the Gound Self Defence ForceJiji Press/AFP
Japan storm Etau floods
A man wades through deep floodwaters in Joso after the Kinugawa river burst its banksIssei Kato/Reuters
Japan storm Etau floods
Raging floodwaters rush down a road in JosoIssei Kato/Reuters
Japan storm Etau floods
A woman is rescued by police officers from a residential area in Joso, Ibaraki prefectureKyodo/Reuters
Japan storm Etau floods
A resident of Joso is rescued by a Japan Self-Defence Force helicopterIssei Kato/Reuters
Japan storm Etau floods
A family wades along a flooded road in Joso, Ibaraki prefectureIssei Kato/Reuters
Japan storm Etau floods
A man carries a suitcase through floodwaters in Oyama, Tochigi prefectureYoshikazu Tsuno/AFP
Japan storm Etau floods
People wait to be rescued from the roof of their homeJiji Press/AFP
Japan storm Etau floods
Rescue workers transport evacuees in a rubber dinghy through floodwaters in Oyama, Tochigi prefecture, north of TokyoYoshikazu Tsuno/AFP
Japan storm Etau floods
A man wades through a local shopping area flooded by the Kinugawa river, in Joso, Ibaraki prefectureIssei Kato/Reuters
Japan storm Etau floods
A woman on a stretcher talks to a Japan Self-Defence Force member after being rescued by helicopterIssei Kato/Reuters

Rainfall reached 600mm (24 inches) in one part of Ibaraki prefecture, where Joso is located, and the Japan Meteorological Agency warned of at least 200mm more in parts of eastern Japan, including Fukushima, site of the reactor crippled by the March 2011 tsunami, before the rain is predicted to stop

Japan floods: Couple and their dogs rescued from rooftop after Joso City submerged under waterIBTimes UK