Heavy snow falls in Sea of Japan areas

Baku, January 14, AZERTAC

A cold air mass gripped Japan on Saturday, with many regions experiencing their lowest temperatures this winter and heavy snow hitting Sea of Japan coastal areas, according to The Japan Times.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued warnings on snowstorms, especially in Sea of Japan coastal areas, through Monday. It also expects snow to settle in plains along the Pacific Ocean in eastern and western Japan through Sunday as an even stronger cold air mass covers the archipelago.

The season’s first snow was observed in Wakayama Prefecture as well as in Saga and Oita prefectures, according to the agency. Snow was also recorded in Nagoya and Hiroshima.

All Nippon Airways Co. and Japan Airlines Co. cancelled over 30 flights to or from areas on the Sea of Japan coast. Some services on the Tokaido, Sanyo and Hokkaido shinkansen lines saw delays.

The agency has asked people in affected areas to stay home and be careful in removing snow. A woman was found buried in snow near her house in Yamagata Prefecture on Thursday night and later confirmed dead, while two women suffered serious injuries Friday morning in Yamagata and Akita prefectures while clearing snow, police said.

Over 24 hours through Saturday morning, up to 70 centimeters of snow had fallen in Niigata, 52 cm in Nagano Prefecture and 46 cm in Toyama Prefecture. The mercury plunged to minus 29.7 degrees Celsius (minus 21.5 Fahrenheit) in the Hokkaido village of Shimukappu, minus 14.9 in Kazuno in Akita Prefecture and minus 0.5 in downtown Tokyo.

Up to 100 cm of snow is forecast to fall in the Hokuriku region through Sunday morning, 70 cm in Kanto-Koshin and Tokai, 60 cm in Kinki and Chugoku, 50 cm in Tohoku and 40 cm in Hokkaido.

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