Three dead as heavy snow falls in Japan

Three Dead As Heavy Snow Falls In Japan Three Dead As Heavy Snow Falls In Japan
Residents remove snow during heavy snow in Nagaoka, Niigata prefecture, northern Japan, on Monday, © AP/Press Association Images
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By Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press

At least three people have died since the weekend amid heavy snow in Japan.

Hundreds of vehicles have been stranded on motorways, trains have been disrupted and thousands of homes have been left without power, officials said on Wednesday.

A powerful weather system first brought snow to Japan’s northern coastal areas on Saturday, with it piling up more to more than 6.5 feet high in parts of the Niigata, Yamagata and Aomori prefectures.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency reported three deaths and 10 other people injured.

A car is covered in snow in Nagaoka, Niigata prefecture, northern Japan, on Monday (Kyodo News/AP)

A 85-year-old man died after falling into a ditch while removing snow in the hardest-hit town of Kashiwazaki in Niigata.

In Hokkaido, a 63-year-old woman was crushed between two trucks trying to get out of the snow, and in Akita, a 73-year-old man fell to the ground while removing rooftop snow and died, according to officials and reports.


Self-Defence Force troops helped clear Niigata motorways, where hundreds of cars and delivery trucks were stuck in queues stretching over 12 miles, and to provide other support. Local volunteers also helped to provide food and other necessities to those stranded inside their vehicles for hours.

Cars stuck on a road in Nagaoka, Niigata prefecture, northern Japan, on Tuesday (Miyuki Saito/Kyodo News/AP)

With improving weather conditions, road closures were lifted on Tuesday but another snowstorm is forecast to affect the region towards the weekend.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said more than 10,000 homes, mostly in Niigata, were still without power on Wednesday morning, and deliveries for convenience stores were delayed due to blocked roads.


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