4 deaths confirmed from Shizuoka mudslides: Many still missing
Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi
Modern Tokyo Times
Search and rescue teams are still looking for many missing people in the city of Atami, in Shizuoka. This concerns the mudslides that hit Atami after torrential rainfall on Saturday. Chiba and Kanagawa also witnessed torrential rain that led to evacuations in certain areas.
However, in terms of life, it is the city of Atami that suffered greatly because of horrendous mudslides. Hence, four people are known to have died after 130 homes – and other buildings – were swept away.
Rescue teams are working around the clock because approximately 75 people remain unaccounted for. This number is sketchy because it is unsure how many people were hit by mudslides – or who had already left the area.
The BBC reports, “Yuta Hara, a spokesman for Atami city hall, told Reuters news agency that the rain had made the ground unstable and about 387 people had been evacuated.”
Prime Ministery Yoshihide Suga, said, “We want to rescue as many victims … buried in the rubble as soon as possible.”
Response occurred immediately once the full extent of the mudslides became known. Hence, approximately 1,500 firefighters, the local police, the armed forces, and others are involved in search and rescue missions.
It is known that 23 people have been rescued from the carnage. Therefore, all agencies involved are doing their utmost to find missing people.
The Guardian reports, “The governor of Shizuoka prefecture, Heita Kawakatsu, said authorities would investigate if building projects in the area had reduced the mountain’s ability to retain water and triggered the mudslide.”
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