A powerful mudslide burried dozens houses after heavy rains, west of Tokyo, Japan

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A powerful mudslide occurred after heavy rains in the area at the Izusan district in Atami, west of Tokyo, Saturday, July 3, in Japan. Atami received 313 millimetres of rain in 48 hours. The landslides appeared to have struck several times. Many houses are damaged. Roads are covered by mud and debris. A part of a bridge had collapsed. As many as 80 homes were completely buried. At least 19 people are missing, officials said. Prefectural disaster management official Takamichi Sugiyama said the number of those missing may grow. Television footage showed a wave of black mud slide down a mountainside, knocking down and crushing houses in its way. Aggressive rescue operations were underway to find survivors. Self-defense forces have joined firefighters and police. Atami is a quaint seaside resort area in Shizuoka prefecture. The area that was hit by the mudslide, Izusan, includes hot springs, residential areas, shopping streets and a famous shrine.

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Torrential rains have slammed parts of Japan starting earlier this week increasing mudslides risk in the country. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga called an emergency meeting for his Cabinet. Evacuation warnings were issued for a wide area, including the so-called “Level 5,” which is the highest possible alert, affecting more than 35,000 people. Residents must evacuate in Hiratsuka, Yokohama, Chiba and Shizuoka.