YOKOHAMA – A teenager was killed Wednesday morning when she was struck by a small landslide while walking through a residential area in the city of Zushi, Kanagawa Prefecture, local police said.
The landslide occurred at around 8 a.m. when a nearly vertical, 10-meter-wide section of a hill underneath an apartment building collapsed onto the street below.
The 18-year-old woman was pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital, according to police and rescue workers. There were no other victims.
Although the lower part of the hill was reinforced by a concrete retaining wall, the upper section collapsed releasing around 20 cubic meters of earth. A pile of dirt up to 2 meters high could be seen on the road, which was strewn with boulders, and a nearby guardrail had been bent by the force of the falling earth.
“One person was transported to the hospital on a stretcher, and the ambulance staff had a bloodstained bag with them,” said a woman from the neighborhood. “The road gets busy in the morning with commuters heading to work and school. I can’t believe a landslide could happen here.”
The prefectural government had previously flagged the area as being at high risk of such an incident. Rain was unlikely to have been a factor in the collapse as there has been no rainfall in the area since last Thursday, according to the Meteorological Agency.
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