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Japan landslides leave 2 dead, 20 others reported missing

Japan landslides leave 2 dead, 20 others reported missing

At least two people are dead and another 20 are missing after a huge flood-triggered landslide swept through the Japanese city of Atami on Saturday, Japanese authorities said.

The mudslide, which took southwest of Tokyo by force, has caused severe infrastructure damage and tore down more than 130 houses, reported Atami City's Fire Disaster and Management Agency.

Another set of seven other landslides had also been reported across Japan. Local authorities have issued evacuation orders to around 20,000 households in Atami, asking them to move to safety immediately as torrential rains continue in the region.

Videos circulated on social media showed a black mudslide gushing down through the city, destroying several houses while hitting its way towards the sea.

A disaster management official stated that the missing toll might increase.

"This rainy-season front is expected to keep causing heavy rain in many areas. There is a fear that land disasters could occur even when the rain stops," said Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at an emergency meeting, as cited by AFP news agency.

Though around 1,000 rescuers including 140 military personnel are continuing with rescue operations, heavy rains force relief attempts to be stopped temporarily.

Prone to floods and landslides, Japan has averaged up to 1,500 landslides annually during the past decade, with an approximate 50 percent increase when compared to the previous 10 years, a 2020 official government report noted.

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