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Mudslide in Hakuba’s Villa Area, 13 People Rescued; Melting Snow Due to High Temperature Possible Cause

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A road in Hakuba, Nagano Prefecure, where a mudslide carried sediment on Saturday

There was a mudslide on Saturday morning at a villa area in Hakuba, Nagano Prefecure, with 13 people needing to be rescued from their residences. No injuries have been reported.

A resident of the village made an emergency call at around 5:45 a.m. on the day, saying that water was flooding onto the road, according to the local police and other authorities. It is believed that a section of a nearby hill collapsed, causing water from a stream near the area to overflow, spilling sediment onto the road and the grounds of the house.

The municipality issued evacuation orders for some areas and opened an evacuation center at a facility near the village office.

A village official said that the situation may have been impacted by the unseasonably high temperatures, rain, and melting snow. The lowest temperature in Hakuba on Saturday was 9.4 C – 13.4 C above normal – which is a temperature typical of early October, according to the Nagano regional weather bureau.