Weather officials are warning that the danger is not over. They say even a small amount of rain could cause more landslides. Those who live on slopes and near rivers are advised to stay safe.
The mudslides travelled nearly two kilometers through Atami, reaching a height of about two meters in some places. Authorities say 215 people are registered as living in the worst-hit area, and they have determined the whereabouts of 135 of them.
A month's rain in three days
One man told NHK he knew there had been a mudslide after hearing an "unimaginable sound." Another resident, who participated in the rescue operation as part of the fire brigade, recalls seeing many old wooden houses being destroyed as he evacuated.
Watch Video 00:24
In the three days through Saturday evening, the coastal city saw more rainfall than it gets on average for the entire month of July. Police, firefighters and the Self-Defense Forces are participating in the search and rescue effort. But intermittent rain on Sunday triggered smaller landslides and interrupted the rescue work.
Massive volumes of soil displaced
A drone survey revealed that a mountainous area measuring about 100 meters across collapsed. Officials say as much as 100,000 cubic meters of land may have been displaced. At least half of it could be soil that was being stored there for a development project. Shizuoka Governor Kawakatsu Heita told reporters he has received an interim report indicating the mudslides originated there.