Rescuers search for 27 missing after Japan landslides

Rescuers conduct rescue and search operation at a mudslide site caused by heavy rain at Izusan district in Atami, west of Tokyo, Japan

Rescuers in Japan were searching on Wednesday for 27 people still missing after heavy rain triggered landslides in the seaside city of Atami four days ago, killing seven people.

With more rain forecast on Thursday, potentially hampering rescue efforts, about 1,100 police, fire fighters and military personnel combed through ankle-deep mud, rocks and splintered wood to try to locate those missing.

“Light rain will likely start late tonight, and it will rain all day tomorrow. Caution is required,” an official at a local meteorological office told Reuters.

Atami, with a population of 36,000, is 90 km (60 miles) southwest of Tokyo and famous for a hot springs resort.

The landslides are a reminder of the natural disasters — including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis — that afflict Japan, whose capital Tokyo is hosting the summer Olympics starting on July 23.

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