Landslide in Japan, 20 Missing in Atami City

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A huge landslide hits the Japanese city Atami followed by heavy rainfall; twenty people are missing.

Numerous houses were destroyed as a gush of black mud was seen tumbling down from a mountain top. It flowed through the city and went towards the sea.

According to the governor, two bodies have been found by the coast guard up till now.

A resident said he heard a “horrible sound” and escaped as the landslide engulfed everything that came in its path.

The city experienced more rainfall at the beginning of July than it usually has in the entire month.

Atami is a popular hot-spring resort in the region of Shizuoka. And similar weather has been seen in the neighbouring Kanagawa region.

For Japan, landslides are not very unusual, since it is very mountainous and densely populated.

But because of the events that are happening due to climate change, these extreme weather conditions have become more destructive and frequent.

A few days earlier people in the US suffered severe heatwave, then Canada which is still going through the same drastic climate change. 

And now there is Japan, with a treacherous landslide.

A resident of the city told that the mudslide struck at 10:30 local time on Saturday (01:30 GMT).

Moreover, one witness said:

“I heard a horrible sound and saw a mudslide flowing downwards as rescue workers were urging people to evacuate. So I ran to higher ground.”

Another one said:

“The big electricity pylons here were shaking all over the place and no sooner had I wondered what was going on than the mudslides were already there.”

One man could only use the ladder to climb and escape.

“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,” he added.

Another resident described hearing an “unimaginable sound”.

“I knew it was a landslide. It’s been raining constantly for three days, it’s been steady rather than a sudden downpour,” he said.

A task force was assembled by the Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga.

It responded to the disaster and the wider emergency caused by heavy rainfall on the Pacific coastline.

The search operation was carried by the police, firefighters and the Japanese military.

Atami’s Mayor Sakae Saito told local media that up to 300 homes had been affected by the landslide.

Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of residents in three areas – Shizuoka, Kanagawa and Chiba – have been ordered to evacuate.

Flooding killed dozens of people last year in July. More than 200 died in 2018 when parts of western Japan were swamped.

 

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