Japan Mudslide Devastation Caught on Video With Over 20 Missing, 2 Dead

At least 20 people are missing and two believed dead following a powerful mudslide in the Japanese seaside town of Atami that destroyed homes, buildings and cars in its path on Saturday morning.

The destruction was captured in videos shared to social media which show the black mudslide sweeping down a mountainside toward the town just 60 miles southwest of the nation's capital Tokyo.

It's currently the rainy season in Japan and the mudslide has been blamed on heavy rains. Torrential downpours have hit parts of the country in recent days, loosening dirt and increasing the risk of landslides.

The mudslide took place in Atami, in the country's Shizuoka prefecture, at 10.30 am local time (9.30 pm EDT).

Up to 80 houses were buried as a result, according to an official with the Fire and Disaster Management Agency cited by ABC News.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has called an emergency cabinet meeting, while fire fighters and police are on the ground searching for survivors.

Local officials had also requested help from Japan's Self-Defense Force, who have reportedly joined the rescue effort.

Shizuoka prefecture's governor, Heita Kawakatsu, told journalists that the coast guard had discovered two people who had been washed into the sea by the mudslide. While their hearts had reportedly stopped, their deaths had not yet been officially declared.

#BREAKING: There are fears for at least 19 people currently missing after a mudslide hit homes in Atami, Japan, west of Tokyo.

Rescue workers are currently underway to search for the missing people . pic.twitter.com/WP1qxtqLdN

— 10 News First (@10NewsFirst) July 3, 2021

"I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who has suffered," Kawakatsu said and he also warned that further mudslides were possible as more rain is expected to fall.

"There are many places where the ground is loose, so please evacuate from dangerous places, listen to information from the city and town, and make sure you and your family are safe," he said.

Several photos and videos were shared on social media showing the devastation brought on by the mudslide. The black wave of water and mud can be seen surging through the streets and carrying debris.

Footage from Japanese broadcaster NHK shows the extent of the mudslide on Saturday, including damaged buildings and vehicles in the city of around 20,000 households.

The mudslide also damaged powerlines - visible in some of the footage - and the Tokyo Electric Power Company announced that around 2,830 households in Atami were without power from around 2 pm local time.

One witness told NHK: "I heard a horrible sound and saw a mudslide flowing downwards as rescue workers were urging people to evacuate. So I ran to higher ground."

There is concern about further mudslides and evacuation orders have been issued for areas around Tokyo and for Shizuoka and Aichi prefectures, while landslide warnings have been issued for Shizuoka, Kanagawa, Chiba and Yamanashi prefectures.

Newsweek has asked Shizuoka Prefecture for comment.

Destruction Caused by a Mudslide in Japan
A general view shows mud and debris at the scene of a landslide following days of heavy rain in Atami in Shizuoka Prefecture on July 3, 2021. At least 20 people are missing. Charly TRIBALLEAU / AFP/Getty Images