Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said workers were doing everything to try “to rescue those who may be buried under the mud.”
Rescue workers slogged through mud and debris Monday looking for dozens feared missing after a giant landslide ripped through a Japanese seaside resort town, killing at least three people.
Eighty people were still unaccounted for, according to Shizuoka prefectural disaster management official Takamichi Sugiyama. Officials were preparing to release their names, hoping to reach some who might not have been caught in the landslide.
Initially, 147 of those people were unreachable, but that number was revised downward after city officials confirmed some had safely evacuated or were away when the disaster struck, it said.
The disaster is an added trial as authorities prepare for the Tokyo Olympics, due to start in less than three weeks, while Japan is still in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters that rescue workers, including police, self-defense troops, firefighters and coast guard personnel, are doing their utmost “to rescue those who may be buried under the mud and waiting for help as soon as possible.”