SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 2 August 2021, Monday |

Japan resumes rescue work after deadly landslides, 20 missing-Kyodo

Early on Sunday, Japan started search and rescue operations for 20 people who went missing after landslides fueled by torrential rains slammed the central city of Atami, killing at least two people, according to the Kyodo news agency.

On Saturday, floods, landslides, and cascading mud collapsed and half-submerged residences in the beach city 90 kilometers (60 miles) southwest of Tokyo, according to Kyodo, which added that roughly 80 buildings were affected.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who has formed an emergency task force to deal with the problem, encouraged residents in the affected districts to remain vigilant on Saturday.

The floods are a reminder of the natural disasters – including earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunami – that plague Japan, where the capital Tokyo is to host the summer Olympics starting this month.

Suga and cabinet ministers were to discuss the disaster at 11 a.m. (0200 GMT), Kyodo said.

Some 700 people from the Shizuoka prefectural police, firefighters and Japan’s military resumed their search and rescue efforts after dawn, Kyodo said.

In the affected area where intermittent rain continued, about 387 people have been evacuated as of Sunday morning, the news agency said.