At Least 20 People Missing and Two Dead After Mudslide Wipes Out Homes in Japan’s City of Atami

Police officers conduct search and rescue operation around a destroyed car at a mudslide site caused by heavy rain at Izusan district in Atami, west of Tokyo, Japan July 4, 2021, in this photo taken by Kyodo. Kyodo/via REUTERS

At least two people are dead and some 20 people are missing after a mudslide swept across a seaside city around 60 miles southwest of Tokyo, sweeping away homes amid Japan’s rainy season.

Footage posted on social media showed the powerful black mudslide shoot down a mountainside, engulfing homes and infrastructure as locals watched in horror.

The giant mudslide in Atami, Shizuoka prefecture, which occurred around 10:30 a.m. local time on Saturday, came after parts of the region were hit by torrential rain.

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An Atami city official confirmed to CNN that two women had died in the landslide.

Police and firefighters have been searching for the missing and so far, 19 people have been rescued in Atami city after being stranded in their homes. Operations stopped overnight and resumed on Sunday at 6 a.m. local time, with 700 people from the police, fire department service and Japan Self-Defense Forces assisting.

As of 6:30 a.m., some 380 people have been evacuated, and 10 evacuation centers have been opened in the city, the Atami city official said.

More than 130 houses were swept away in the mudslide, Atami City’s Fire Disaster and Management Agency said. Sakae Saito, the mayor of Atami city, told reporters that up to 100 to 300 households were affected.

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SOURCE: CNN, Selina Wang, Junko Ogura and Emiko Jozuka

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