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5 die as heavy snowfall hits Sea of Japan coast

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I've got to think that thousands of people from Niigata are just going to call it quits and move to Eastern Japan after this year's record snowfall. And its not like this is extremely abnormal... yearly they're bombarded with heavy snow.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It is not easy to live in Japan.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

My father in law is from Nigata and he says that there are ALOT of accidents like this there, mainly due to the lack of young people around to help with snow and the like.

A 78-year-old man in Nagaoka also died after breaking his neck. He is believed to have fallen from the roof of his house while removing snow, the police said.

The gov should just pay to have all houses in heavy snow areas in Japan have their roofs renovated to gasshō-zukuri like in shirakawa go. Then there would be less accidents.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Unfortunately there is no roof design that would make much difference in reducing the danger of snow removal. Even the gasshou-zukuri mentioned above (never mind the ENORMOUS cost of these roofs) requires dangerous snow removal. https://cdn.amanaimages.com/preview640/10383000229.jpg

4 ( +4 / -0 )

RIP

I swear some of these drains are big enough to fit an entire car. They are deep too!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

how hard is it to wear a rope while removing snow... the incidents dont happen because of snow but because of stupidity

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Why not import some snowblowers and teach people a bit of safety....seems it is mostly elderly who are victims.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The thatched roofs in Shirakawa-go are paid for by the public who cover 90% of the thatching cost. When the taxpayer is paying this much, you can guess what happens to the bill. The locals will turn out to help, a process of communal give and take called "yui", but that doesn't mean someone ain't down at the town hall submitting a piece of paper with a large number on it. Snow sticks to thatch and pulls it off, necessitating repairs at the eaves.

For a building that is heated, a metal roof with a 5 or 6 in 10 pitch will shed snow regularly by itself. Steep roofs make your upstairs smaller and/or can look strange, so they do come at a cost. Houses with a full-sized upper story, "sou-nikai" in Japanese, are the cheapest to build. Note that some people do not want their roof to shed snow, because it will land on the neighbour's land. In built-up snowy areas, flat roofs are common for this reason.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I love the snow but it's tragic that people die on the roofs and drains. I agree the metal roof is the way to go but you're right, where do you put all that snow?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

kohakuebisu is correct.

The roof pitch and design of many houses in regular heavy snow areas are ill planned and built.

When you see basically flat roofed homes in semi-rural areas with a mountain of snow atop, you just gotta wonder.

Of course construction cost is an important factor ( high pitch high price), but so is quality of life and staying alive.

Many of the inadequate homes were designed and built not only in the tough resource / money scarce era post-war, but in the "rich" era of the bubble. Sadly people were ripped off.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“Note that some people do not want their roof to shed snow, because it will land on the neighbour's land.”

Not to mention into the space around the house where it might break the windows of the house, onto the family car/s that will end up crushed, onto pedestrians walking past the house who could get injured or killed, onto the street where it will block traffic. There are a lot of reasons why snow coming off the roof in an uncontrolled manner is not a good idea. It all depends on the design of the house, location, surroundings etc. There is no one solution. People do what they have to do to get through the winter and sometimes that entails risks.

“Why not import some snowblowers and teach people a bit of safety”

Where do you think the snow would get blown to? Not to mention snowblowers are available here.

And they’ve been teaching safety for years. Cars go around the neighborhoid reminding people to use ropes and never work alone, etc. It’s also on the TV and in the newspapers all winter. We get pamphlets in our mail boxes. There are also free courses given.

Finally, a lot of these deaths don’t even make the national news. Earlier this month there were three in one day in one northern prefecture. Not even mentioned on the national news.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@ jimmyBBToday about roof design

Actually there is. They can make the roof a higher pitch, then if the snow becomes too heavy, it just fall down. Also, the new metal roofing is pretty well made now-a-days. There is no visible screws or seams. Depends on the style. Some come in 1 long piece, so if the roof is 20' span, then it comes in 20+ ' long. You do not need to worry able leak as well. The surface is smooth, if the snow be comes too heavy, it just slide down.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Generally, people who are almost 80 shouldn't be on roofs of houses even on a warm spring day.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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