By Our Reporter
Scores of people are feared to have died and many others are still missing after mudslides that occurred after heavy rains swept through parts of Tokyo on Saturday.
A powerful mudslide carrying a deluge of black water and debris crashed into rows of houses in a town west of Tokyo following heavy rains Saturday, leaving at least 19 people missing, officials said.
Dozens of homes may have been buried in Atami, a town known for hot springs, said Shizuoka prefecture spokesperson Takamichi Sugiyama.
Public broadcaster NHK gave the number of missing people at 20, but Sugiyama said the prefecture confirmed at least 19, although he said the number may grow.
Torrential rains have slammed parts of Japan starting earlier this week. Experts said dirt had been loosened, increasing landslide risks in a country filled with valleys and mountains.
Shizuoka Governor Heita Kawakatsu told reporters the Coast Guard had discovered two people who had been washed into the sea by the mudslide. Their hearts had stopped, but their deaths were not yet officially declared, he said. Other details of their identity were not released.
“I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who has suffered,” he said, adding that utmost efforts will be made to rescue lives.
Both Kawakatsu and Sugiyama said it had been raining hard in the area all morning. Self-defense forces will join firefighters and police in the rescue operation, and a minister from the national government had also arrived, they said.
Sourced via V.O.A