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Another Car May Be Caught in Landslide in Nara Pref.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The dirt covers a national highway after a landslide in Shimokitayama, Nara Prefecture, on Sunday afternoon.

Nara (Jiji Press)—A man was rescued from a car trapped in a landslide that occurred in Nara Prefecture, western Japan, on Saturday, while police and fire authorities continued their search operations on Sunday as at least one more car may have been involved in the disaster.

At around 8:55 p.m. on Saturday, the police received an emergency call that a car had been trapped in a landslide along National Route 169, in the village of Shimokitayama in Nara.

A minivehicle driven by a man his 50s was found buried under the mud. The man was rescued about seven hours later and was taken to hospital. He was not in a life-threatening condition.

According to the Nara prefectural police and other sources, a slope of about 5 meters high and about 20 to 30 meters wide along the national road collapsed and the mud blocked the road. As a landslide occurred at the same site in May due to rain, a guard fence had been set up there.

The man who was rescued said that several cars were running ahead of him.

While police and fire authorities continued their searches, suspecting that multiple cars might have been involved, the searches were suspended early Sunday morning due to the risk of a secondary disaster.

An examination using an infrared camera later suggested that at least one more car may have been caught in the landslide.

The prefectural police received a report that a man in his 70s could not be reached after he headed for Mie Prefecture, east of Nara, to go fishing from Wakayama Prefecture, southwest of Nara. The man may have used the national road where the landslide occurred.

The search operations will be resumed on Monday.