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Crews sift through debris of Japan mudslide; at least 4 dead and 24 missing

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Crews sift through debris of Japan mudslide; at least 4 dead and 24 missing
Rescue workers search through debris on Tuesday after a mudslide and heavy rains in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

July 6 (UPI) -- Search crews on Tuesday hoped to find more survivors of a mudslide in the Japanese city of Atami, which killed at least four people and left two dozen missing.

Officials say rescue workers are searching through debris left from the "tsunami" of mud that hit the coastal city on Saturday.

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The toll rose to four and two people were found alive on Monday. Officials said more than two dozen people have been rescued, but 24 are still unaccounted for.

The mudslide wiped away at least 130 structures and cut power to about 2,800 homes, according to the Tokyo Electric Power Company.

Atami, a city of about 36,000 that's known for its natural hot-springs resort, is located 60 miles southwest of Tokyo on a steep slope leading down to a bay.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters in Tokyo Monday that rescuers are trying to "save as many lives as possible."

Shizuoka Gov. Heita Kawakatsu has vowed to investigate the cause of the massive slide, and whether deforestation or other development projects played a factor.

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