Operation to search for missing people continues

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Tokyo: Rescue operation continued on Sunday to search for 20 people who went missing following a large mudslide in southwest Tokyo.

Around 700 police and Self-Defense Forces personnel, as well as firefighters, are involved in the search in Atami in Shizuoka Prefecture, Kyodo News reported.

The rescue workers began the work to clear away mud and debris using heavy machinery,

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The mudslide was triggered by torrential rain.

The coast guard also continued looking for missing persons at a nearby port, where two women showing no signs of life were discovered and later confirmed dead Saturday.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said heavy rain is expected to continue mostly in areas on the Sea of Japan side and warned the public to be vigilant against further mudslides, flooding and swollen rivers.

The disaster is thought to have affected some 80 houses, some of which were completely destroyed, in the hot-spring resort after mud cascaded from a mountain top at around 10:30 a.m. Saturday.