Dramatic scenes as floodwater ravages Japan city

Japan has been pounded with heavy rain for two days in a row, causing massive flooding and landslides in the wake of the 18th typhoon to hit the country so far this year.

CBS News correspondent Seth Doane says people were stuck calling out from their rooftops for help as water rose around them and Japanese military helicopters pulled dozens of people to safety.

Entire homes were surrounded -- or even carried away as Joso City was inundated with floodwater. The nearby Kinugawa River burst its banks, pouring through a flood wall and sending a torrent of water through the city of 65,000 people about an hour's drive north of Tokyo.

A resident is rescued by a rescue helicopter at a residential area flooded by the Kinugawa river, caused by typhoon Etau, in Joso, Ibaraki prefecture, Japan
A resident is rescued by a rescue helicopter at a residential area flooded by the Kinugawa river, caused by typhoon Etau, in Joso, Ibaraki prefecture, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo, Sept. 10, 2015. REUTERS

Residents tried to save some of their belongings, navigating through floodwaters in tiny boats.

The deluge is the result of a low-pressure system at the tail end of a tropical storm passing through Japan.

The fear is that other rivers could overflow, and rain could trigger more landslides. One house has already been buried in mud.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the heavy rains "unprecedented," adding that the priority at the moment was saving lives.

Night fell in Asia, and Doane said that would, of course, hamper rescue efforts. Even though the rain is forecast to move away, authorities say floodwaters will likely not recede for several days.