2 people confirmed dead in landslide in Yamagata Prefecture

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Two people were confirmed dead Monday after their bodies were found at the site of a landslide in Yamagata Prefecture, local authorities said.

The landslide, measuring 20 to 30 meters in height and 100 meters in width, occurred at a mountain in Tsuruoka shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday.

The landslide engulfed around 10 buildings and left an elderly couple — a man in his 80s and his wife in her 70s — missing.

Police said they are trying to determine whether the two bodies found are those of the missing couple. But because the bodies were severely disfigured, it may take time to identify them, they said.

According to the Tsuruoka city office, a woman’s body was discovered around 6:55 a.m. Monday in the vicinity of the collapsed home of the missing couple, and a short time later, the body of a man was found nearby. Snow had also accumulated around the site.

Police, firefighters and the Self-Defense Forces removed earth and sand after clearing most of the debris from the couple’s house by Sunday night.

Many of the buildings caught in the mudslide are believed to be vacant houses or garages, but two residences were also involved.


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