TOKYO, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Hiroshima, in western Japan, on Tuesday observed the fifth anniversary of torrential downpours triggering a series of fatal landslides that claimed the lives of 77 people.
A memorial service was held by residents in the affected area, with floral tributes also left across the city, including Asakita and Asaminami wards, two of the areas hardest hit by the disaster, which struck five years ago on the day.
Among bereaved families and local sympathizers, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui attended the ceremony, which up until 2017 had been held by the governments of Hiroshima city and the prefecture.
Prayers were offered at monuments engraved with the names of the lives lost, with mourners quoted by local media as saying the tragedy and the pain of the fatal disasters, which robbed them of their loved ones, were still fresh in their hearts and minds.
On Aug. 20, 2014, torrential rain triggered a series of landslides that swept away or seriously damaged 400 homes, killing 74 people, with three more lives lost due to the disaster at a later date.
Preventative measures against landslides have since been put in place by the state and local governments, which include mountain slopes in the region being reinforced and dams built to control mudslides if and when they do occur.
In western Japan last year, when the region was again inundated with torrential downpours, the dams proved effective in averting potential disasters.