Disasters & Accidents

Snowstorm disrupts transport in Tokyo, surroundings

Tokyo, Feb 10 (EFE).- A snowstorm that hit the Japanese capital and surrounding regions on Thursday has led to hundreds of domestic flights being cancelled, apart from dozens of railway lines and roads being blocked.

Heavy snowfall is set to continue until Friday and could exceed 30 centimeters in central Japan and 20 cms in areas west of Tokyo, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, which attributed the storm to a low pressure area being formed along with cold winds.

The JMA warned of ice sheets forming on the roads, apart from the possibility of large amounts of snow and ice falling from buildings and power cuts.

In central parts of the Japanese capital, where heavy snowfall is rare, up to 10 cms of snow is expected to be accumulated by early hours of Friday.

Around 169 domestic flights flying to and from Tokyo’s Haneda airport have been cancelled due to the storm, apart from the suspension of nearly 70 train services – including high-speed trains – that connect Tokyo with the Yamanashi and Nagano prefectures.

Several parts of the highway that circumvents Tokyo have also been closed anticipating the accumulation of snow according to local authorities, which also warned of the possibility of additional closures in the next few hours.

The Tokyo administration has urged citizens to work from home and avoid non-essential travel during the storm, while the central government has set up a disaster prevention group to supervise the situation, its spokesperson Hirokazu Matsuno said in a press conference.

The spokesperson warned that in areas where snowfall was unusual, even a small quantity of snow could interrupt road transport and cause traffic jams or even accidents, adding that the government was taking “all necessary measures” to prevent incidents. EFE


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