According to news reports, at least four have been declared dead, with around 80 still missing, when record high levels of rain fell across the region, triggering the landslide in the residential area.
.@antonioguterres is saddened by reports of loss of life & destruction caused by a mudslide in Japan. He extends his deep condolences to the families of the victims, commends the work of the emergency responders & wishes a speedy recovery to those injured. https://t.co/dj2nXjTMp3
— UN Spokesperson (@UN_Spokesperson) July 5, 2021
The resort town of around 36,000, famous for its hot springs, is near Mount Fuji, some two hours southwest of Tokyo. Officials have reportedly warned that more heavy rains are forecast this week, keeping the area on high alert.
“He extends his deep condolences to the families of the victims, the Government and people of Japan. He commends the work of the emergency responders and wishes a speedy recovery to those who are injured.
“The United Nations stands in solidarity with the Government and people of Japan”, the statement concluded.
Around 1,500 rescue workers were reportedly searching the site of the disaster on Monday, and authorities said that an elderly couple were among 23 people rescued so far.
Atami saw more rainfall in the first three days of July, than it normally sees in the whole month, and has not been alone in suffering the impact of the heavy rains across Japan. Dozens of other cities and towns close to the capital have also recorded record levels.
The country has experienced a rise in floods in recent years, attributed to the effects of global warming, which has seen average rainfall increase.