Six months since deadly mudslides in central Japan

People have paid tribute to the victims of deadly mudslides that hit Shizuoka Prefecture in central Japan six months ago.

Massive mudslides struck the Izusan district in the city of Atami on July 3, killing 26 people and leaving one missing.

On Monday, more than 20 members of a group of bereaved families and other affected people offered silent prayers near the site around 10:30 a.m. -- the time of the first call to emergency services during the disaster.

The group's leader, who lost his mother, says his mental scars have not healed and he sometimes cannot sleep at night. He says he used to visit his parents' home in the district every January 3, and being unable to do so this year made him sadder.

Authorities have banned entry to an area along a river where mud flowed down. Local officials say 240 people of more than 130 households have been displaced.

A woman in her 50s whose home was destroyed now lives in an apartment in neighboring Kanagawa Prefecture with her husband and daughter.

She says days go by, but her mind has been unable to keep up with the time and she feels left behind. She says her family is unlikely to return to the Izusan district due to fear of more mudslides.