AFP, Posted on Sunday 20 July 2021 at 11:22 am.
Japanese rescue workers were searching for survivors in the coastal town of Atami on Sunday as they watched a large landslide, cracked roofs, cars thrown at buildings, and more rain.
The death of two women has been confirmed following a landslide that caused grief at the Atomic (Central Japan) spa on Saturday. A spokeswoman for the Disaster Management Center in Adami, Utah Hara AFP, said at least 19 people had been rescued and 20 were still missing.
He estimated that 130 machines and buildings were damaged Sunday in Adami. Search operations were carried out incessantly due to bad weather.
Heavy rains lashed parts of the city on Saturday morning after heavy rains lashed hilly homes and turned residential areas into pits.
Chico Oki, 71, who works on a shopping street, told AFP: “Large electric pylons were trembling everywhere. I had no time to think about what was happening. The mud waves were already there, and I was very scared on the street below.”
Hisaw Shima, 58, a fisherman, said when the siren sounded, “I didn’t think it was serious, but when I got out, it was really fun to wander around.”
On Sunday, dark water flooded half-buried vehicles and destroyed buildings, i.e. tore them from their foundations. An air conditioner was hung from the house in the disaster, and now dirt and debris have accumulated.
“We started the rescue operation this morning with about 1,000 rescuers, including 140 soldiers,” a department official told AFP: “We are doing everything we can to search for survivors. Carefully the rain continues to fall.”
The Japan Meteorological Agency has warned of heavy rains in parts of Japan, with warnings of flooding and landslides.
– Exit Order –
The area of Atami, 90 km southwest of Tokyo, received 313 mm of rain in 48 hours on Fridays and Saturdays, while the average broadcaster NHK reported 242 mm of rain each year throughout July.
Much of Japan is currently in the middle of the rainy season, which often causes floods and landslides, prompting local authorities to issue evacuation orders.
Scientists say the phenomenon is exacerbated by climate change as the warmer climate contains more water, which increases the risk and intensity of heavy rainfall.
In 2018, more than 200 people were killed in floods in western Japan.
On Sunday, the Japanese prime minister spoke again about the dangers of continuing heavy rains. “I want our people to stay out of dangerous areas,” Suka said, urging them to pay special attention to evacuation orders.
Togo Morivaki, a professor of geotechnical engineering at the Hiroshima Institute of Technology, says early evacuation is important to save lives because it is difficult to predict when and where a landslide will occur.
“Landslides can occur in one place even if the rain stops. Residents and rescuers need to be vigilant right now,” he told the AFP.
About 2,800 houses in Adami were without electricity, and survivors were relocated to shelters. In one gym, mattresses were placed on the floor and anti-Govt safety measures were in place: victims were wearing masks and placed at good distances from each other.
A total of 387 people were evacuated from Adami, spokeswoman Utah Hara said. Television footage showed Coast Guard soldiers searching the muddy waters as police searched damaged homes with dogs.
“Pop culture practitioner. Award-winning tv junkie. Creator. Devoted food geek. Twitter lover. Beer enthusiast.”