Updated Jul 5, 2021 - World

Japan landslide leaves 4 dead, dozens missing

Picture of a rescue worker standing while looking at the scene of a mudslide
A rescue worker removes mud and debris at the scene of a landslide following days of heavy rain in Atami. Photo: Charly TRIBALLEAU / AFP) (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images

Dozens of people are missing and at least four are dead after a mudslide crashed through several buildings in the city of Atami on Saturday, just west of Tokyo, Japan, AP reports.

Details: In addition to the four confirmed dead, 25 people have been rescued, including three who are injured, per AP.

  • Up to 80 homes in Atami were buried entirely, according to a Fire and Disaster Management Agency official cited by AP.
  • The city warned its residents to protect themselves after more than a foot of rain fell in the span of two days, according to the New York Times.

By the numbers: A 2020 report from the Japanese government said that the country averaged as many as 1,500 landslides annually over the prior 10 years, almost a 50% increase from the past decade. The number of landslides reached a record high of 3,459 in 2018.

What they're saying: "Currently, the police, fire department, Japan Coast Guard, and Self-Defense Forces are doing their utmost to save lives, rescue people in need of rescue, and guide evacuation," Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said.

  • "Human life is our top priority, and we will do our utmost to understand the damage situation and take emergency measures in cooperation with local governments."

What to watch: Suga warned that heavy rain is still expected and urged residents to follow evacuation instructions from their local governments.

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