Japan: Rain hampers rescue work after deadly landslides

Twenty people are still missing after Saturday's landslides in the coastal city of Atami. Prime Minister Suga and his cabinet have met to discuss the situation while rescue efforts have been hindered by further rainfall.

Rain hampered rescue efforts in Japan on Sunday as 20 people remained missing in Atami after flash floods caused deadly landslides in the coastal city.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga convened his cabinet to discuss the previous day’s floods that affected some 130 buildings and caused landslides that half-submerged houses in the coastal city, 90 kilometers (60 miles) southwest of Tokyo, Kyodo news agency. reported.

Suga asked those in the affected areas to remain on alert while also warning citizens in the central and eastern parts of the country that they could be caught in further rains.

Some 1,000 rescue workers stop due to rain

An estimated 1,000 people, including members of the military, were a part of the search operations that were halted on Sunday morning due to persistent rain.

The landslides occurred in Atami on a steep slope into a bay at around 10:30 a.m. (0130 GMT) on Saturday, killing at least two women.

Ten houses were destroyed and up to 300 others were damaged.

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

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