Heavy Snowfall Leaves at Least 4 People Dead in Northern Japan


At least four people have died as severe snowfall hit northern Japan, national media reported on Friday.

According to Japanese NHK broadcaster, citing the local police, some victims were fatally injured, while working on snow removal. Others died after being trapped under snow rubble.

Heavy precipitation has continued in northern Japan, including Hokkaido, for the past week. The snowfall has disrupted public transportation. Earlier 60 domestic flights were canceled. Over 200 people were compelled to spend the night at Hokkaido’s Chitose Airport. Another 30 flights were canceled Friday.

Furthermore, the Japanese Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported Tuesday that from January 7 to 11 at least 13 people died, with over 240 injured due to bad weather. Around 1,000 vehicles were stuck at the Hokuriku Expressway in Fukui Prefecture during a snowstorm on Monday.

Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency forecast that poor weather conditions will persist until the weekend. The snowfall will be accompanied by strong squally wind, with speed exceeding 30 meters (98 feet) per second in some regions.

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