Saturday, July 24, 2021

Two people dead, 20 missing after homes swept away in Japan landslide

Two bodies were found after a huge landslide at a resort town in central Japan swept away homes following days of heavy rain, with around 20 people still missing, officials said.

Television footage showed a torrent of mud obliterating buildings as it crashed down a hillside in Atami, southwest of Tokyo, sending people fleeing as it buried part of a road.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said, emergency services and the military had launched rescue and evacuation missions, warning that more downpours were forecast.

There is a possibility of heavy rain due to the rain front, so still need to be at the maximum level, he said at an emergency disaster meeting.

Atami saw rainfall of 313 millimetres in just 48 hours to Saturday, higher than the average monthly total for July of 242.5 millimetres.

More than 200 people died as devastating floods inundated western Japan in 2018. Around 2,800 homes in Atami have been left without power, according to the Tokyo Electric Power Company.

Shinkansen bullet trains between Tokyo and Osaka were temporarily stopped due to the heavy rain, while other local trains in rain-affected areas were also halted, rail company websites said.

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