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About 1,000 police and other first responders have joined rescue efforts in Atami. Photo taken on July 4. (Photo by Kai Fujii)
Natural disasters

In pictures: Search for survivors of Japan mudslide

Seven people confirmed dead and 27 still missing in resort city Atami

Nikkei staff writers | Japan

ATAMI, Japan/TOKYO -- The search for survivors of Saturday's deadly mudslide continues in the Japanese resort city of Atami, with 27 people still unaccounted for as of Tuesday night.

The discovery of three bodies Tuesday brought the death toll to seven. More than 72 hours -- the period deemed critical for finding survivors -- have passed since the destruction caused by a torrent of mud in the hilly Izusan section of the city, southwest of Tokyo.

The cause of the disaster remains under investigation, but Shizuoka Prefecture Gov. Heita Kawakatsu said Monday that rain soaking into the soil over a long period of time was "without a doubt" a factor.

A total of 122 homes were damaged by the mudslide, authorities said Tuesday.

  © Kyodo
  © Kyodo

Search and rescue operations continue for missing people in the Shizuoka Prefecture hot spring resort city of Atami, central Japan, on July 6.

  © Kyodo

A dog aids in the search for buried victims on July 5.

  © Kyodo

First responders search house to house for trapped residents. Photo taken on July 4.

  © Kyodo

An onlooker watches rescue efforts on July 5.

(Photo courtesy of Shizuoka Prefecture)

This aerial photo from July 4 shows the hillside gouged out by a flow of rain-soaked earth.

  © Kyodo

The mud cut a path of destruction through the hot spring resort, reaching to the edge of the bullet train line (far left). Photo taken on July 5.

  © Kyodo

Self-Defense Forces personnel rescue a resident on July 4.

  © Kyodo
  © Kyodo

First responders use heavy equipment to dig through mud-choked streets. Photos taken on July 4 and July 5.

(Photo by Chiaki Kameda)

Shizuoka Prefecture Gov. Heita Kawakatsu visits Atami on July 5.

(Photo by Kai Fujii)

Supplies are brought to a hotel housing residents displaced by the disaster.

(Photo by Rie Ishii)

Crushed buildings, a vending machine and other debris lie strewn across a street. Photo taken July 3.

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