At least 19 people are missing after a powerful mudslide swept away rows of houses in the town of Atami, west of Tokyo, Japanese authorities said on Saturday.
Takamichi Sugiyama, a top disaster management official, has confirmed that mudslide has awful consequences for Atami residents. Dozens of homes may have been buried and the number of missing may grow.
Shizuoka prefecture located in the central part ofJapan, says the mudslide occurred on Saturday morning. The town, known for its hot springs, now tries to save lives. The rescue workers are searching for at least 19 people, NHK reports. Meantime, the number of those missing may grow.
According to Sugiyama, the natural disaster occurred in an area called Izusan. While many people are believed to have been evacuated, it had been raining hard in the area all morning. The local authorities have issued evacuation warnings for a wider area.
Mudslide just buries the homes and buildings
The mudslide was caused by the heavy rain has been lashing across Japan since earlier this week. Rivers swell in the central and the Tokyo region inspiring a giant wave of black mudslide down a mountainside. It has been knocking down and crushing houses in its way as helpless neighbours watched in horror, some recording on their phones.
The emergency services and police said dirt had been loosened, increasing landslide risks in a country filled with valleys and mountains.