Two people dead, 20 missing and homes swept away: the mudslide caused by torrential rains on Saturday in central Japan caused extensive damage.
The city of Atami had received 313 mm of rain on Friday and Saturday in 48 hours, according to the NHK, while it averages about 240 mm each year for the entire month of July. “Under the action of torrential rains, the ground gave way and the flow left” from the top of a river in the coastal town of Atami, said the governor of the department of Shizuoka, Heita Kawakatsu.
Maximum alert level
Scientists say the phenomenon is exacerbated by climate change as a warmer atmosphere holds more water, increasing the risk and intensity of extreme precipitation.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced that the emergency services and the Japanese army had launched rescue and evacuation operations, stressing that more torrential rains were expected. “We need to be at the maximum alert level,” he told an emergency meeting.