According to an official from the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, 80 Atami homes were completely buried.
Although he suggested that 100 people could be still missing due to the mudslides, the official cautioned that more details are not yet available. As is the policy of Japanese bureaucracies, the official spoke under anonymity to emphasize that rescue operations are underway to locate survivors.
NHK had previously reported that there were 20 missing persons. However, Takamichi Sugiyama, a spokesperson for Shizuoka prefecture, said that the prefecture confirmed that at least 19 people are still missing. He also said that the number could rise.
Torrential rains have hit parts of Japan since earlier in the week. Experts stated that dirt has been loosening, which increases the risk of landslides in a country with mountains and valleys.
Multiple landslides struck at the same speed as a car, and it appeared that they had occurred several times. The footage showed the landslide, which was black in color, slipping down a mountain, sweeping away cars and knocking down houses. Some recorded on their phones, while others watched helplessly as the mudslide swept down a mountain.
NHK TV footage showed that a portion of a bridge had fallen.
Shizuoka Governor. Heita Kawakatsu reported that two people had been washed into sea water by a mudslide. He said that their hearts had stopped but that they were still not officially declared dead. The identities of the other two men were not disclosed.
He said that he offered his deepest condolences and promised to make every effort to save lives.
Kawakatsu and other officials stated that it had been heavy raining in the area since morning. They said that self-defense forces joined firefighters and police to rescue the victims. Officials from the government also arrived.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Sug called an emergency meeting for his Cabinet and directed the task force to continue with rescue operations, while protecting against future disasters.
Evacuation warnings were issued in an extensive area, including "Level 5," which was the highest alert possible and affecting more 35,000 people.
Atami, a charming seaside resort in Shizuoka prefecture is located about 100 km (60 miles) south of Tokyo. Izusan is the area that was affected by the mudslide. It includes hot springs and residential areas as well as shopping streets and a famous shrine.