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Friday, Feb 03, 2023

17 dead, 110 injured in heavy snowfall in Japan

17 dead, 110 injured in heavy snowfall in Japan

At least 17 people have died and 110 more have been injured as a result of heavy snowfall in Japan, sources in the country's disaster management reported on Monday, according to Sputnik.
Winter storm has continued through Monday, with snow piling up higher than 160 centimeters (5.2 feet) in some areas. Heavy snow has led to power outages across the country, leaving around 1,000 households in the prefecture of Niigata alone without power for over a week.

Much of the country's northern and western regions have seen persistent heavy snow since December 17, stranding hundreds of vehicles on highways and delaying delivery and public transport services.

The scope of the winter storm has been unprecedented, with some parts of northeastern Japan reporting three times their average snowfall for the season. The Associated Press reported that officials said Monday that 17 people have died, some of whom had fallen while removing snow from the roofs.

The officials urged residents not to remove snow from vehicles and roofs on their own due to safety concerns, the outlet reported. One elderly woman in Nagai City — an area located around 300 kilometers (180 miles) north of Tokyo — was found dead buried underneath a pile of snow that suddenly fell on her from her roof, AP reported.

Snow in the area had piled up to higher than 80 centimeters (2.6 feet) over the weekend. Heavy snow also knocked down an electric power transmission tower in Japan's northern region, leaving about 20,000 homes without power on Christmas morning, AP reported.

Electricity has since been restored and the heavy snowfall is expected to ease from Monday. Japan is not the only country struggling with snowfall this winter. At least 38 deaths have now been linked to severe snow storms battering the US and Canada in recent days, the BBC reported Monday.

The storms have also heavily disrupted travel over the holiday weekend and left thousands of people without electricity. Officials have urged people to stay home, calling the storms a "very dangerous life-threatening situation," the BBC reported.

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