Raging floodwaters broke through an embankment Thursday and swamped a city near Tokyo, washing away houses, forcing dozens of people to rooftops to await helicopter rescues and leaving one man clinging for his life to a utility pole. There were no immediate reports of casualties, but rescue officials said they were overwhelmed by pleas for help. More than 30,000 were
ordered to flee their homes, and hundreds more were stranded by the water. As of late Thursday, more than 3,500 people were staying in evacuation centers. As heavy rain pummeled Japan for a second straight day, the Kinugawa River broke through a flood berm, sending water gushing into the eastern half of Joso, a city of 60,000 people about 50 kilometers (30 miles) northeast of Tokyo.