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Landslide hits Japan town

Rescuers in a Japanese town hit by a deadly landslide climbed onto cracked roofs and searched cars thrown onto engulfed buildings on Sunday, as more rain lashed the area.

Two people have been confirmed dead after the disaster at the hot-spring resort of Atami in central Japan, with 10 people rescued and around 20 still missing, a local government official said.

Torrents of mud crashed through part of the town on Saturday morning following days of heavy rain, sweeping away hillside homes and turning residential areas into a quagmire that stretched down to the nearby coast.

“We resumed rescue operations early in the morning with some 1,000 rescuers, including 140 troops,” a Shizuoka prefecture official told AFP.

“We are trying our best to search for survivors as quickly as possible while carrying out the operation very carefully as it is still raining.”

Chieko Oki, who works on a shopping street in Atami, said: “The big electricity pylons here were shaking all over the place, and no sooner had I wondered what was going on than the mudslides were already there and in the street below too.”

“I was really scared,” the 71-year-old told AFP.

Another survivor told local media he had heard a “horrible sound” and fled to higher ground as emergency workers urged people to evacuate.

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