NewsWorldUncertainty over human toll grows after Japan mudslide

Uncertainty over human toll grows after Japan mudslide

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Rescuers were still looking for survivors on Monday, 48 hours after the massive mudslide in Atami, central Japan. The disaster killed at least three people, but around 20 people are still missing.

Research resumed early Monday, July 5 in the coastal town of Atami (central Japan), the scene of a massive deadly mudslide on Saturday, and uncertainty reigned over the fate of dozens of people whose local authorities were helpless. new.

The deaths of three people have been confirmed so far, but this is only a very tentative toll. About 20 people are officially missing, but 48 hours after the tragedy, local officials were still struggling to determine the fate of dozens of other people who were believed to be in the area at the time of the disaster.

“So far, we have confirmed that 102 people are safe and sound, as we continue to check the safety of 113 other people, out of the 215 residents who were apparently in the area affected by the landslide,” said local official Yuki Sugiyama told AFP on Monday.

At a press conference on Sunday evening, the mayor of Atami, Sakae Saito, explained that the 20 or so people officially missing was “a figure based on information sent to the locality at the initial stage of the disaster”, and therefore likely to evolve upwards.

Desolation

About 130 homes and other buildings were destroyed or damaged when the massive mudslide swept through a residential area of ​​Atami mid-morning on Saturday, leaving a desolate landscape with gutted houses, overturned cars and piles of debris. in a huge quagmire.

Atami, a mountain-side seaside resort located about 90 km southwest of Tokyo, received 313 mm of rain on Friday and Saturday in 48 hours, while it averages 242 mm each year for the whole month. July.

Heavy rains were expected to continue on Monday in Shizuoka County, where Atami is located, as well as other parts of Japan, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, warning that more landslides could occur. Evacuation instructions (not mandatory) concerned 35,700 people Monday in the country, mainly in the department of Shizuoka.

With AFP

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