Rescue workers dug through sludge and debris July 5 looking for more than 20 people who may be trapped after a torrent of mud, trees and rocks ripped with a roar through Atami, a seaside resort town in Shizuoka Prefecture, killing at least four people.
Atami Mayor Sakae Saito said 24 people were still unreachable early July 6. A majority of people on a list of 60 registered residents who were unaccounted for have contacted officials to let them know they are safe. Officials were double-checking the number because many of the apartments and houses in Atami are second homes or vacation rentals.
Initially, 147 people were unreachable, but officials confirmed many safely evacuated or were not at home. In addition to the four people found dead, officials said 25 people have been rescued.
The landslide occurred July 3 after days of heavy rain in Atami, which like many seaside towns is built into a steep hillside. It tore through the Izusan neighborhood, known for its hot springs, a shrine and shopping streets.
The disaster is an added trial as authorities prepare for the Tokyo Games, due to start in less than three weeks, while Japan is still in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, with cases steadily climbing in the capital. (AP)