ATAMI: Twenty-nine people were believed to be still missing Tuesday more than 72 hours after a large-scale landslide hit Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan.
As the crucial 72-hour period ended in the morning, rescuers continued the search work, while the Atami city and Shizuoka prefectural governments tried to confirm the whereabouts of those still unaccounted for. Survival rates tend to fall rapidly 72 hours after such a disaster.
The search work resumed early in the morning, involving about 1,100 people mainly from the prefectural police, the local fire department and the Self-Defense Forces.
So far, four people have been confirmed to have died in the mudslide that occurred in Atami’s Izusan district Saturday morning. Three of them remain unidentified, including a woman believed to be around 70 and a woman appearing to be in her 60s to 80s.
According to the local resident register, the disaster site had 215 registered residents.
On Monday night, the Atami government released a list of 64 people whose safety had not been confirmed, in order to seek information about them from the public. As a result, the number dropped to 24 by noon Tuesday (3 a.m. GMT).
According to the police, there have been reports that five people cannot be reached, apart from the 24.
Atami, a major hot-spring resort not far from Tokyo, has many owners of vacation homes who live elsewhere and therefore are not on the city’s resident register.
The Atami government is asking for information from owners of such homes in the Izusan district about the safety of their family members.
The mudslide damaged around 130 buildings. As of Tuesday, some 570 evacuees were staying in hotels and elementary schools in the city.