Two people are believed to have died and 20 are missing following a mudslide that swept through a coastal city 60 miles southwest of Tokyo. The mudslide caused havoc in the rainy season of Japan, which swept away homes.
Footage showed the devastating black mudslide that swept down a mountainside. It engulfed homes and infrastructure, as locals watched in horror.
After torrential rains had impacted parts of the region, the giant mudslide that occurred in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture at 10:30 am local time was caused by severe flooding.
Firefighters and police have been looking for missing persons, and prefectural officials requested assistance from Japan’s Self-Defense Force.
According to Tokyo Electric Power Company, approximately 2,830 households were without power as of 2 p.m. (local time)
To respond to the disaster, the government created a task force that collects information from areas affected by heavy rains along the Pacific coast of central and eastern Japan.
Yoshihide Suga , the Japanese Prime Minister, expressed his sympathy for the victims of the landslide. He also stressed that the Japan Coast Guard, Japan Self-Defense Forces, Japan Fire Department Service, Japan Coast Guard, and Japan Coast Guard were doing everything they could to help people escape and save their lives.
Heita Kawakatsu was the governor of Shizuoka Prefecture. He spoke at a Saturday press conference and expressed his “deepest sympathy” to all those who were affected by the landslide as well as to “those who were forced to evacuate.”
Kawakatsu said that more rain was expected and warned residents to be on the lookout for landslides. He said, “There are many areas where the ground is loose. Please evacuate from these places, listen carefully to the information from the town and city, and ensure your family’s safety.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan sent a tweet Saturday in support of the Japanese government. It stated that the Taiwanese were shocked and deeply saddened by the broadcast of the news footage. We are available to assist Japan if they need it.
According to Japan’s NHK, evacuation orders have been issued so far for residents in Tokyo and Shizuoka prefectures.
NHK reported that authorities issued landslide warnings in Shizuoka and Kanagawa prefectures.
According to Japan’s Meteorological Agency (which also warned of flooding in low-lying regions and landslides), the rain front will move towards the Sea of Japan coast this weekend.
Japan is more prone to landslides than the United States. In the last decade, Japan has experienced an average of 1,500 landslides per year — almost half the increase in 10 years.
Flooding-related disasters like landslides pose a serious threat to the country. Experts say that half of the population and 75% percent of the country’s assets are located in flood-prone areas.
Japan has many risk factors that can lead to landslides. It’s susceptible because of its mountainous terrain, and a lot of areas where the soil contains volcanic ash, which can be weaker,” Robert Geller, professor-emeritus at the University of Tokyo, said to Daily Reuters.
The risk of disastrous mudslides is rising due to an increase in rainfall caused by global heating.
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Geller stated that global warming is making things worse. It is increasing the amount of rain that can lead to dangerous landslides. “The rainy season will continue for another week or ten days. Global warming is causing us to get more rain now than usual.