Twenty people are still missing in Atami city after the occurrence of a landslide caused by the heavy rainfall.
A resident testified that he heard a ‘horrible noise’ before fleeing from the devastating landslide which destroyed everything in its path. Several houses were destroyed or buried from the torrent of black mud coming from the mountain and then heading towards the sea. According to the local governor, two bodies have been found by the coast guard.
The weather has been particular rainy during the past three days compared to the usual rainfall obtained in July in both Atami, a hot-spring resort in the prefecture of Shizuoka, and in the neighbourhood of the Kanagawa prefecture. BBC’s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Tokyo stated that since Japan is a very mountainous country and landslides are not uncommon however due to climate change, there is increasing evidence that those events will become more frequent and even more destructive.
On witness testified to national broadcaster NHK, “J heard a horrible sound and saw a mudslide flowing downwards whilst rescue workers were busy telling people to evacuate. So I ran to higher ground.”
One person even had to climb a ladder in order to save his life. He stated to NHK, “The mudslide came really close, right in front of my house. I could hear it coming before I saw it. I couldn’t get away, so I climbed up a ladder.”
The Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihide Suga, has gathered a task force with the mission to help to better organise the rescue and tackle with the emergency caused by the heavy rainfall on the Pacific coastline. Firefighters, police and the Japanese military are all involved in a search party in order to rescue any survivors.
During this time, residents of Shizuoka, Kanagawa and Chiba are being evacuated since warnings of flooding and more landslide were issued in those areas.