Japan’s military sent emergency rescuers to the central city of Atami on Saturday after landslides triggered by heavy rains left at least 20 people missing, public broadcaster NHK said.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has called together an emergency task force to tackle the crisis, NHK added, as it broadcast Twitter footage of floods that destroyed homes swept away debris.
Social media images showed partially submerged cars and rescue workers wading through waist-high water with a small life raft.
The rainfall deluging the city since Friday has already exceeded average July levels for the prefectures of Shizuoka, where Atami is located, and neighbouring Kanagawa, NHK said.
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