13 dead, hundreds injured as record snowfall blankets Japan

TEHRAN, Jan. 12 (MNA) – At least 13 people died and around 250 were injured as record snowfall blanketed regions along the Sea of Japan coast, according to the latest report by the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.

According to the agency and local media reports, three people aged in their 60s and 80s died in Fukui Prefecture, while 47 people were injured in the prefecture in snow-linked accidents, Xinhua reported.

Niigata Prefecture saw four people die as a result of trying to remove snow, the agency said.

The three hard-hit prefectures’ officials have requested assistance from the Self-Defence Force (SDF) in rescue operations, local media said.

Also, the bedlam caused by the snowfall that hit wide swathes of Japan also saw more than 1,200 vehicles on the Hokuriku Expressway in Fukui Prefecture stranded during a blizzard recently.

Meanwhile, on the Tokai-Hokuriku Expressway in Toyama Prefecture, more than 200 vehicles were stranded in heavy snow, while 250 people became stuck on Niigata Prefecture’s National Route 8.

Following the record amount of snowfall recorded in areas along the Sea of Japan, the weather agency here has now forecast heavy snow for the Pacific side of the country.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) has said that snowfall on the Pacific side would continue through Tuesday, due to a low-pressure system off the coast, Japan’s public broadcaster NHK reported.

In mountainous regions, up to 20 centimetres of snow is forecast for 24 hours through Tuesday evening, in the Kinki, Tokai and Shikoku regions, the JMA said.

While in the Kanto-Koshin and Chugoku regions, around 15 centimetres is expected, while Kyushu could see as much as 10 centimetres of snow, the agency said.

Kinki and Shikoku could also see up to 10 centimetres of snow, while snowfall in Kanto, including Tokyo, could reach 7 cm in some areas.

The JMA has urged people to refrain from making non-essential outings and prepare winter tires or snow chains for vehicles in the affected areas.

ZZ/PR

News Code 168428

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