SHIZUOKA – About 120 campers trapped by a mudslide were able to return home Saturday after the road leading from the campground in the town of Nishi-Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, was mostly cleared of mud.
Two construction companies in the town removed debris from the mudslide, which occurred in heavy rain on Friday, allowing the campers to drive down the mountain.
After the mudslide, town officials managed to transport food and water to the stranded campers.
The holidaymakers emerged looking tired after spending the night in tents or bungalows.
“I have never felt such fear,” said Yukie Morisawa, who was on holiday with her children and friends from Saitama Prefecture. “We were out of food. It scared us to think we might be unable to get back home.”
Other campers bought food at a booth at the campground. “I cooked curry last night using leftover vegetables and food I bought as souvenirs,” said Yumiko Taka, from Tokyo’s Adachi Ward.
Rain hits rail, road links
Torrential rains Saturday caused havoc for traffic in the Tokyo metropolitan area, forcing railway companies to cancel more than 600 trains and affecting more than 228,500 people, officials said.
According to East Japan Railway Co., trains were canceled on a number of lines in Chiba, Kanagawa and Shizuoka prefectures.
The rain also caused landslides and flooding, blocking roads in Chiba, Kanagawa and Shizuoka prefectures, according to the Japan Road Traffic Information Center. Two major fireworks festivals in Tokyo were also canceled.
Two men were injured in Shiroi, Chiba Prefecture, when their passenger car fell into a hole caused when rain washed away part of a road, police said. The hole measures about 3 meters in diameter and about 50 cm deep, the police said.
The rain caused 63 landslides and flooded 14 houses in Chiba Prefecture and closed roads in 18 locations in Shizuoka Prefecture, officials said.
In Shizuoka Prefecture, 23 households in Numazu and Mishima cities were evacuated while 87 households in the town of Minamiizu were without electricity after a mudslide knocked down an electricity pole.
According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the rains are forecast to continue throughout Sunday in the Kanto region but good weather is predicted for Monday.
On Saturday, a rain front over the south of the Japanese archipelago caused cool and humid winds from the northeast, bringing the lowest temperature in Tokyo down to 19 C, 5.3 degrees below the average for this season.