Daily US Times: At least 20 people are missing in central Japan after a huge landslide hit Atami city following heavy rainfall.
Videos spread on social media showed a torrent of black mud plummeting down from a mountain top and on through the city towards the sea. Several houses were destroyed or buried by the landslide.
The local governor said, two bodies have been found by the coast guard.
A resident said he heard a “horrible sound” and fled as the landslide destroyed everything in its path.
Atami, a popular hot-spring resort in the prefecture of Shizuoka, has had more rainfall in the first 3 days of July than it usually sees in the whole month.
The weather has been similar in neighbouring Kanagawa prefecture.
Japan is a very mountainous and densely populated country and landslides are usual, but there is growing evidence that climate change is making these sorts of extreme weather events more frequent and more destructive.
The mudslide struck at 10:30 local time on Saturday, according to a local resident.
One witness told Japan’s national broadcaster NHK: “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 resident, Chieko Oki, told AFP: “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 escape by climbing a ladder.
You may read: Demolition of Miami site brought forward