20 Missing After Mudslide Sweeps Away Homes in Japan


A powerful mudslide carrying a deluge of black water and debris crashed into rows of houses Saturday in a town west of Tokyo following heavy rains, and leaving at least 20 people missing, officials said according to BBC News.

Dozens of homes may have been buried in Atami, a town known for hot springs, said Shizuoka prefecture spokesperson Takamichi Sugiyama. Public broadcaster NHK gave the number of missing people at 20, but Sugiyama said the prefecture confirmed at least 19, although he said the number may grow.

Torrential rains have slammed parts of Japan starting earlier this week. Experts said dirt had been loosened, increasing landslide risks in a country filled with valleys and mountains.

 Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has called an emergency cabinet meeting. Al Jazeera’s Andrew Chappelle has the latest.