Asia

Japan hit by deadly snowstorms

  • 16 February 2014
  • From the section Asia
A woman walks with dog on the snow-covered road in Yokohama, near Tokyo Saturday, Feb. 15 Image copyright AP
Image caption Hundreds of drivers were stranded by the snowstorm

At least 11 people have been killed by a record-breaking snowstorm in Japan, according to local media.

Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes and hundreds more injured, as more than one metre (three feet) of snow fell in some areas.

The snow forced airports to cancel flights and closed roads as it barrelled past Tokyo on Saturday.

Forecasters are warning of blizzards and avalanches later, as the storm moves north towards Hokkaido.

Kyodo news agency reported deaths in several prefectures near Tokyo, and other deaths as far south as Oita on Kyushu island.

Reports said roofs of buildings had collapsed under the weight of snow in some areas, and hundreds of drivers had been left stranded in miles-long traffic jams.

Some 27cm of snow was dumped on Tokyo on Friday and Saturday, and several other cities reported record snowfall.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Forecasters are warning of further blizzards and avalanches
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Homeless people are particularly vulnerable as temperatures plummeted below zero
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The roof of an aircraft hanger collapsed under heavy snow, leaving a tail fin poking through

It is the second major snowstorm to batter Japan in a week.

Last week Tokyo residents were warned of a severe snowstorm for the first time in more than a decade.

Eleven people were also killed in that storm, with more than 1,000 injured nationwide.

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