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Japan landslide: Two dead, 20 missing

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Two people have been confirmed dead after the disaster at the hot-spring resort of Atami in central Japan, with 10 others rescued and around 20 still missing, a local government official said.

Torrents of mud crashed through part of the town on Saturday morning following days of heavy rain, sweeping away hillside homes and turning residential areas into a quagmire that stretched down to the nearby coast.

Around 1,000 rescuers including 140 military personnel were involved in the relief efforts. “We are trying our best to search for survivors as quickly as possible while carrying out the operation very carefully as it is still raining,” he added.

Public broadcaster NHK later reported that rescue operations had been temporarily suspended due to the bad weather.

On Sunday, dark water trickled past half-buried vehicles and buildings tipped from their foundations.

Atami, around 90 kilometres (55 miles) southwest of Tokyo, saw rainfall of 313 millimetres in just 48 hours to Saturday — higher than the average monthly total for July of 242.5 millimetres, according to public broadcaster NHK.

Much of Japan is currently in its annual rainy season, which lasts several weeks and often causes floods and landslides. – INDIA TODAY

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