Rescue workers slogged through mud and debris Monday looking for dozens feared missing after a giant landslide ripped through a Japanese seaside resort town, killing at least three people. Eighty people were still unaccounted for, according to Shizuoka prefectural disaster management official Takamichi Sugiyama. Officials were preparing to release their names in hopes of reaching some that might not have been caught in the landslide.
Initially, 147 of those people were unreachable, but that number was revised downward after city officials confirmed some had safely evacuated or were away when the disaster struck, it said. The disaster is an added trial as authorities prepare for the Tokyo Olympics, due to start in less than three weeks, while Japan is still in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
At least 20 were initially described as missing. Adding to confusion over casualties is that Atami is a vacation city, with many apartments and homes unoccupied for long parts of the year, their listed residents living in other places. Others may be away visiting relatives or friends or not answering the phone, officials said. They hope to get in touch with more of those unaccounted for on Monday.