1500 rescuers search for survivors at landslide site in Japan

Four people have died in a landslide in the Japanese resort city of Atami, officials say.

As of Monday (July 5), about 1,500 emergency workers were working to dig through the rubble near the central seaside city, scrambling to find survivors.

Saturday’s landslide was triggered by several days of heavy rainfall. Weather forecasters said the rainfall from the storm exceeded the amount normally recorded in Atami for the entire month of July.

About 80 people are still unaccounted for. But authorities are still trying to confirm their whereabouts and hope that some of them were elsewhere when the disaster struck.

As many as 130 homes and buildings were destroyed.

Atami is a resort town located 90 kilometers southwest of Tokyo and is known for its hot springs. It sits on a steep slope above the bay.

The disaster occurred just days before the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics. The Tokyo Olympics were already overshadowed by the rising number of COVID-19 infections in Japan.