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3 dead, 850 injured as snow causes more travel chaos

26 Comments

Japan's road, rail and air travel services faced further disruptions Saturday, reports and officials said, after a fresh snow storm killed three people and injured 850 others following last week's deadly blizzard.

Snow began falling Friday morning in the capital Tokyo and piled up to 26 centimeters by early Saturday, a week after the heaviest snowfall in decades left at least 11 people dead and more than 1,200 injured across the nation.

A driver was killed Friday in a crash involving his car and a truck on an icy road in Shiga Prefecture, while a farmer died after a tractor overturned on a snow-covered road in southwestern Oita, local media said.

In a separate snow-related accident, a driver was killed and three others injured on an expressway in Shizuoka, the news reports said.

Public broadcaster NHK said some 850 people, including one in a coma, have been injured in snow-related accidents across the nation since snow hit western Japan late Thursday.

Drivers were struggling to move their cars in the capital's residential district of Setagaya, while snow started melting and flooding some roads in downtown Tokyo.

Television footage showed hundreds of passengers resting on benches and floors under blankets at Haneda airport in Tokyo as public transport services were suspended due to heavy show.

At least 628 flights, mostly on domestic routes, were cancelled on Saturday at Haneda and other airports in eastern Japan, NHK said, a day after more than 260 flights were grounded due to heavy snow.

The storm also caused delays and suspensions on the shinkansen bullet train services and the closure of a number of highways across the country.

Some 187,000 households lost power mainly in eastern Japan due to snow and strong winds, NHK said.

The meteorological agency continued warning of heavy snow in eastern Japan as well as strong winds and high waves along coastal areas, which may cause snowslides.

Last week, as much as 27 centimeters of snow was recorded in Tokyo, the capital's heaviest snowfall for 45 years.

While much of that snow had melted, the remains of larger piles as well as some slightly diminished snowmen were still in evidence across the city.

© (c) 2014 AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

26 Comments
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yes sucks, i am stranded at haneda now...finished 2 can of beer, now going for 3

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Didn't go out yesterday and today, me and gf slept in this morning.

Hope everybody travelling will soon get home safe and sound.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I have better things to do with my weekends than shovel snow, 2 weeks in a row is beyond fun. So if it snows on Thursday it may very well be enough for me to go and get a petrol driven snow clearing machine imported.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

No need to import a snowblower. I bought one on Yahoo Auctions and had it sent from Hokkaido. Abut 40,000 yen total...

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Most of my neighborhood in my part of Tokyo is ojiichan and obaachan, meaning very old people who can NOT shovel snow without breaking their bones or getting a heart attack so, as long as I can I not only SHOVEL snow around my house, but I make sure my older neighbors are NOT SNOWED in. You all should see the big old smiles from all of these older folk and they always give me an my kids nice little gifts, mikan etc...I sure do not want my mom to be living alone somewhere and getting stuck in her house.

18 ( +21 / -4 )

Elbuda yes I also have elderly neighbours and shovel pathways from the street to their houses so they can have access too, I was thinking last night who terrible it must be for the old because shovelling that stuff is hard work.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Senor Elbuda - I always knew you were a good guy ! (But don't overdo it ! Even younger people get heart attacks !)

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I read for a while, JR East pretty much gave up on non-Shinkansen train service north of Omiya--the snowfall was that bad. And Even Tobu Railways posted warnings about major delays on their rail lines north of Tokyo itself.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Good one Elbuda I also spent the day digging out old folks. I can recommend snow shovelling as a great way to break the ice with the locals.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Nice to see all you shovellers doing what's right.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I gave encouragement to the shovelers in my local area. On the way to the gym. Well, they seemed to have it under control!

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

I work the late shift and couldn't get to the train to get home until 7:30 AM. After a long, freezing, watery trudge through flooded streets, I made it to the station only to find that the trains weren't running!

I sure enjoyed that warm bath that I finally got to take upon arriving home 3 1/2 hours after work finished!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@ Elbuda, Hongo and all the shovellers - champion effort guys! I spent the evening doing the easier task of trying to push some stuck cars back onto the road. Was worth it just for the beautiful smile and thank-you from a lovely lady we got out! 60 cm of snow up here in Fukushima today!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

My wife and I spent the entire day outside shoveling snow... We are in serious pain now but it felt good to help others! Plus I did not want other to see the gaijins house still hurried in snow!

We need to set a good example!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Expat in Japan- I had to catch a flight AI 307 from Narita this morn @11:30, but when I started from yokohama the narita express was cancelled, airport lumousine buses had cancelled too.. I took the best path reaching Tokyo by tokaido line then to nippori by Yamamoto line.. By then it ~9:30.. There was a huge ticket queue line for narita (keisei skyliner) and I could only end up taking limited express to narita t2. Finally I was at narita counter I @11:15.. But they said the flight was ontime and we cannot board u now.. Also 13-15 members have missed the flight.. The airline didn't contact me and check my status or even delay the flight for 15-30mins >10 people not reporting.. snowy day!!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Stop the world! Tokyo got 6 inches of snow! Oh my dog! Personally, I think it's quite ridiculous that a modern city that has a history of snowfalls completely falls to pieces and shuts down after a few inches of snow. None of the local councils have any contingency plans or equipment to clear the snow. None of the train lines have any crews working to get the lines open. There are no road crews clearing the roads. The only thing there is, is pathetic reports of how many people have been injured or killed and how many thousands of people have been inconvenienced by the city's lack of ability to deal with it. Really, it's a trucking joke!

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

@Elbuda Mexicano thats the best thing that has Ever come out of your mouth. Good job, I can finally say that much for a very good deed.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I am the atheist, and praying. My Jesus.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It's Nagano and Yamanashi that are in trouble. I wonder why the gov were so unprepared for this!? Still there are people in their cars on the national highways (RT 19, 153, 361)! Where is the jieitai? It is really sad to see. No trains or road openings for the foreseeable future either (Only shinkansen).

The true problem is not the snow but TRUCKS with no snow tires that turned over and blocked highways which led to snow accumulating. Removal equipment can't get to certain places because all the out of prefecture vehicles jammed the roads and are still sitting there. In my opinion it is a crime to come to an area ill-equipped to deal with weather and endanger the lives of people. These trucking companies (and government) need to be held accountable for this. A serious disaster very unlike your 5cm in Tokyo. Stop your whining city people and stay off the roads.

2 days people have been stuck out there. Also there are 2 express trains trapped on the Nishi-Chuo Line between Shiojiri and Kiso Fukushima. Where are the reports about that!? Sad Japan, very sad.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A serious disaster very unlike your 5cm in Tokyo.

Read the article, did you?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Kanagawa, Yamanashi, western Tokyo. Parts still have black outs. We have been shoveling all day, with 12 people. We set out big jugs of water for all to drink. No sign of a city bull dozer in sight. People have run out of rice, flour, vegetables, milk, pet food, and water has stopped for some. Even if we could get to the stores, they say the shelves are empty. The Chuo Honsen has stopped walking to the station takes an hour on a a good day. Many cannot get to work this week and there is a possibility of more snow later in the week? Just keeping a running update. Take care.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

People have run out of rice, flour, vegetables, milk, pet food, and water has stopped for some.

This is Japan, having a week's supply of food and water stashed away is common sense. What did these folk do in the aftermath of 3/11, when the water was contaminated and the shops had empty shelves? Power cuts can be a bind, but people used to earthquakes and typhoons shouldn't be out of food after a couple of days of snow.

A big pat on the back and a thumbs-up to all those who went out clearing not only their own but also their neighbours' snow.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

True, and we did have a storage as did the neighbors who are well-versed in disaster prep. One factor this time different from other times was that the last week's storm brought us 70cm of snow that made us unable to get out of the community for days and then people had to go to work, work overtime to make up for lost work days, and did not have TIME and the next town over with a supermarket was still a mess as of Thursday because they did not have enough snow plows or bull dozers to remove all of the snow from the very narrow streets. That store serves many rural communities, was hard to get to and was already running low on stock. Many of the people running low are elderly whose children live far away and could not or store up in time, though we try to take them shopping when possible. But,not to worry, in a typhoon and an earthquake, this town has supplies for the community. Again, we all spent another 6 hours removing the 1 meter of snow. Rooves still have about 80 cm of snow left to melt. We broke several shovels, including a large red scoop, and a farmer donated his gasoline powered mechanical wheel barrow. People have been so kind to one another. One neighbor brought us some pet food to share in a pinch. It was a lovely gesture. Now, we just have to wait for the city's snow plow to come by and for the trains to start up. Oh, just now, the water has suddenly turned off. Good luck to all!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

That is awful! I hope most of the injured will be ok!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Elbuda Mexicano thats the best thing that has Ever come out of your mouth. Good job, I can finally say that much for a very good deed.

Yes, elbuda, well done. That was a lovely thing to do - makes a change from your usual anti-Chinese racist rants. Well done.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Stop the world! Tokyo got 6 inches of snow!

6 inches, that's like what, 30cm? I don't know how you could think that's not a lot of snow.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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