Japan – 2 Dead, 20 Feared Missing After Rain Triggers Mudslide in Shizuoka Prefecture

As many as 20 people are feared missing in central Japan after a huge landslide hit Atami city in the prefecture of Shizuoka following days of heavy rainfall.

Videos showed a torrent of mud flowing down a steep slope through streets of Atami city. According to Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA), as many as 80 homes were damaged or swept away. As of 03 July, FDMA confirmed 2 fatalities and 2 people injured.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said, “Heavy rains brought about by active fronts from July 1 have caused multiple landslides, and in particular, debris flow near Izusan, Atami City, Shizuoka Prefecture has caused damage such as involving multiple people and many houses. Is occurring. We would like to express our deepest sympathies to the victims.”

He added that police, fire department, Japan Coast Guard, and Self-Defense Forces are doing their utmost to save lives, carry out search and rescue activities and guide evacuations. FDMA said there is a threat of a secondary slide in affected areas.

Atami saw rainfall of 313 mm in just 48 hours to 03 July, which is above the monthly average of 242.5 mm in July, according to NHK. Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) figures showed the nearby city of Gotemba recorded 496.5 mm of rain during the same 48 hour period.

Heavy rainfall has affected other prefectures. JMA reported 689.5 mm of rain fell in 48 hours to 03 July in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture. Parts of Tokyo also saw heavy rain, with Toshima recording 438.0 mm in 48 hours to 03 July.

The rain has increased the threat of flooding and landslides across areas of Chiba, Kanagawa, Shizuoka and Oita prefectures. As of 03 July, there were evacuation orders in place for 687,312 people from 322,318 households in these prefectures, FDMA said.

A landslide occurred on a motorway in Zushi City, Kanagawa Prefecture, damaging a vehicle and injuring one person. heavy rain also caused a landslide in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, although FMDA reported minimal damages.

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