Tokyo, Jul 5 (EFE).- Japanese authorities in Atami said three people died and more than 100 were missing after a mudslide caused by torrential rains swept part of the municipality last weekend.
Although local authorities initially reported about 20 missing people, they later said the number had risen to 113, Japanese government Spokesman Katsunobu Kato said Monday.
Atami authorities base their missing persons figures on the current resident registry, which is why they said it is difficult to determine the actual number of missing people, as some may have moved out of the area without notifying them prior to the incident.
Some 1,500 people participated Monday in search and rescue efforts, including police officers, members of the army, firefighters and the coast guard, Kato said.
Atami, located in Shizuoka prefecture, has been one of the towns most affected by the torrential rains that hit the Japanese archipelago last weekend during the ongoing summer rainy season.
The mudslide took place Saturday and has affected some 130 buildings, some of which have been completely destroyed.
Authorities have raised the number of fatalities caused by the disaster to three, after confirming Monday the death of a seriously injured woman who was among the 23 people rescued so far.
Japan’s meteorological agency called for caution in rescue work due to the risk of sediment-related disasters and said it expects rains to continue Monday in some areas, which could make such work difficult.
The government has held a crisis cabinet meeting since the day of the incident and assessed whether the crisis “could be more serious” than initially expected and in which they will continue to analyze the evolution of the situation, Kato said. EFE