Panel Blames Local Govts over Atami Mudslide

Society Politics

Shizuoka, May 13 (Jiji Press)--An investigative panel said Friday that local governments failed to take resolute measures over a soil mound before it collapsed and triggered a deadly mudslide in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, last July.

In its final report, the third-party panel pointed to a lack of coordination between the Shizuoka prefectural and Atami city governments in central Japan in dealing with the mound.

In 2009 and 2011, the city dropped the idea of issuing an order to the previous owner of the land plot in question, a real estate management company in Odawara in neighboring Kanagawa Prefecture, to take safety measures, after holding discussions with the prefecture.

The land plot where the soil mound was created collapsed and triggered the mudslide, leaving 27 people dead, including one from an indirect cause. One person is still missing, and about 130 buildings were damaged.

The panel, commissioned by the prefectural government, said in the report that the biggest cause of the failure was Atami city's insufficient instructions and checking of the soil mound.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press