1,500 rescuers wade through mud to find survivors in wake of catastrophic landslide in Japan

1,500 rescuers wade through mud to find survivors in wake of catastrophic landslide in Japan

Following a landslide in Atami, a resort city southwest of Tokyo, a rescue mission is ongoing throughout Monday in the hope of locating the dozens of residents still missing. Three fatalities have so far been confirmed.

Japan’s Joint Staff Office, which is responsible for the country’s air, land, and sea surveillance, shared images of the rescue effort on Twitter, stating that, since 6am, the day’s first shift of 360 first responders had been scouring the area for survivors, using heavy machinery, drones, and rescue dogs.

静岡県熱海市における土砂災害に係る災害派遣について、本日06時00分以降、約840名態勢をもって被災現場に約360名の隊員、重機5両及び災害救助犬5頭も投入し、活動しています。引き続き、関係省庁や自治体と密接に連携し、人命救助に全力を挙げて対応してまいります。 pic.twitter.com/iWlF8ynq0t

— 防衛省統合幕僚監部 (@jointstaffpa) July 5, 2021

#自衛隊は、引き続き、静岡県熱海市における土砂災害に係る災害派遣において捜索救助活動を実施しています。添付の動画は、 #航空自衛隊 の隊員及び救助犬が、被災者の捜索救助活動を実施している様子です。 pic.twitter.com/H1HYJH1wbP

— 防衛省統合幕僚監部 (@jointstaffpa) July 5, 2021

The region’s mayor, Sakae Saito, announced that the whereabouts of 113 of the 215 residents was currently unknown. Since the announcement, the location of some 135 has been confirmed.

Red Cross Asia’s Pacific branch has also been contributing its resources to the recovery effort, providing blankets to evacuation centers in the area.

#RedCross teams in #Japan are supporting people affected by the deadly landslide in #Atami City including delivering blankets to evacuation shelters ❤️ #JapanLandslide https://t.co/N22XQSM1B7

— IFRC Asia Pacific (@IFRCAsiaPacific) July 5, 2021

The landslide occurred after heavy rainfall in the region on Saturday. The amount of rain that day was more than the usual average for the region for the whole of July. Some 130 buildings were destroyed by the ensuing mud, which cascaded down the hillside without warning.

The prospect of further adverse weather conditions hangs over the region. More heavy rain is expected in the Shizuoka prefecture, with meteorologists warning that there could be yet another mudslide in Atami.

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