The equivalent of a month's rain fell in 24 hours up to Wednesday morning, which triggered the earth shift. Rescue teams are working their way toward houses buried in mud and rocks. More rain could trigger further landslides, weather officials have warned.
Much of central and southern Japan is mountainous. Landslides are a constant risk. Because of overcrowding, many homes are built on or near steep slopes.
Last year, a typhoon triggered landslides on Izu Oshima island, south of Tokyo, that left 35 people dead. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-28862949
Want to see Images of Hiroshima, past and present? The book, 'The Morning of August 6th I was 14 Years Old' is free on this site along with some interesting photos.
Here's an excerpt from the first book in my co-written Higher Ground Series, set in the future of Britland after the Great Flood. In Wind Over Troubled Waters, the teenage Cerridwen shoulders a huge responsibility.
On the bed next to her mother, Cerridwen snuggled further into her sleeping furs. Wind roared over the town, and rains lashed against the thick wooden walls of the house nestled half way down a steep slope above the quiet village. Built in the before times when men knew how to construct things properly, the house resisted continual rain. A lightning flash lit up the small room. Thunder roared. In the cot beside her, Mother whimpered and turned in her sleep.
Cerridwen concentrated on creaking noises followed by a thud. A tree struck by lightning? Aware of possible danger, she bolted upright. Her brother Ivan had left before sunrise with a group of Red Roof men to hunt deer in the first light. She hoped for their safe return.
A mighty growl jarred her out of her drowsiness. What could it be? Not thunder. The sound lasted too long and grew into a rumble.
She sprung up, heart thumping, and shook her mother awake. "Quick, we need to leave the house."
"I had a dream." Mother raised herself on one elbow.
"Take your fur." Cerridwen slid her feet into shoes, and grabbed her bag.
Mother's eyes widened. "What's that noise?" She swung her feet onto the floor.
"Don't know," Cerridwen yelled over the roaring, slipping sound. "We've got to leave." Underneath her feet, the floor moved.
"It's no use," Mother sighed but rose and clutched her fur around her shoulders. "Where can we go?"
"The house is moving," Cerridwen yelled. "Come outside." She supported Mother's frail body while they staggered to the door. Screaming and wailing in protest, mud and water carried debris down the hill. No time to dwell on fear. Cerridwen forced them outside into the eerie backdrop.
Clouds obscured the moon. Rain drove into their faces. She headed for the familiar large overhanging rocks in the distance. At one with the earth, the outcrop would offer safety. But could she and Mother reach them in time? Mud ran over Cerridwen's feet. "The hill's sliding towards us." Pushing against the driving rain, they struggled on. She dragged Mother with each step. A flash of lightning lit the rocky part of the hill.
"Look. Over there." Nearly to their goal, maybe three men's length away.
The slipping mud knocked Mother off her feet. Cerridwen clutched her fur, but Mother slid away from her grip. In panic, Cerridwen bent, grasped her arm, and pulled her from the sucking mud. After a few staggering strides, a gust of wind almost pushed her over. A thick branch hurled towards them and struck Mother. "No!" Cerridwen screamed. Slipping and sliding, she used strength she'd never needed to call on before. With a mighty effort, she pulled Mother up and hauled her over the last few steps to the shelter of large boulders. ...