Six months after deadly mudslides in central Japan

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

Massive mudslides struck Izusan District in Atami City on July 3, killing 26 people and leaving one missing.

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

The leader of the group, 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’ house in the neighborhood every January 3 and his inability to do so this year made him even sadder.

Authorities banned entry into an area along a river where mud was flowing. Local authorities say 240 people from more than 130 households have been displaced.

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

She says the 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 Izusan District due to fear of further mudslides.