Continuous heavy rain over Japan's southern islands in recent weeks has brought disaster to the mountainous southern tip of Kyushu.
GV PAN: along valley to landslide area.
CU PULL BACK: house partly buried.
LV PAN DOWN AND CU rubble and mud over railway line and houses (2 shots)
LV PAN: ambulance along road.
SV PAN: debris
CU: woman weeping
LV: wrecked house (2 shots)
CU: distraught man
CU AND LV: boulders and other debris over railway line. (2 shots)
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Background: Continuous heavy rain over Japan's southern islands in recent weeks has brought disaster to the mountainous southern tip of Kyushu.
SYNOPSIS: In the past week these valleys have been inundated by eight inches (20 cms) of rain. Sheets of water streaming down the slopes have had a dramatic effect, loosening the soil and dumping an estimated 70,000 tons (tonnes) of moist sand and rocks onto houses in this village of Yoshino-cho, near Kagoshima on Friday (24 June). The main slide hit the village at about 10.50 a.m. local time, trapping 14 people in their crushed homes.
The landslide also buried tracks of the Japanese National Railway, bringing an immediate and dramatic halt to services between Kagoshima.
By mid-afternoon five of the 14 people trapped had been rescued by the army of 400 police, firemen and Japanese Self Defence force members who scoured the debris and rubble for signs of life. While they waited for news, desperate relatives of the missing could only hope.
Despite the size of the rescue operation nine people were still unaccounted for by evening. The earth had moved so quickly the people had virtually no warning. Their homes buckled under the massive weight of the landslide.
This man was at work when the landslide buried his home, and his wife was still missing. He was also unable to find his relatives, who lived nearby.