The violent snowstorm killed at least one person. A freighter also sank, eight people are missing.
Heavy snowfalls hit Japan on Wednesday, paralyzing transport and killing at least one person. An exceptionally cold weather front and extremely low pressure areas already brought snowfall and strong winds on Tuesday. Forecasts indicate that the phenomenon could continue until Thursday with snowfall in Tokyo and Osaka.
One person was killed in the storm and investigations were underway Wednesday morning to determine the causes of two other deaths, Japanese Prime Minister’s Office Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said. Further details were not initially known.
Traffic and transport closed
More than 300 flights have been canceled and rail services in northern Japan have been disrupted or delayed, Japanese media reported. Cars and trucks were stuck on a highway in the center of the country due to snow, national broadcaster NHK said.
At home in Saitama, the wind is blowing so hard that my apartment is shaking.
In Okayama, snow reached more than 41 cm in a few hours, and the prefecture declared a level 4 alert.
Here Kyoto Station around 17:00:pic.twitter.com/TGm1ns7XGH
— \u26e9 Ryo Saeba \u26e9 (@Ryo_Saeba_3) January 24, 2023
Due to low temperatures not observed in certain sectors for 10 years, many water pipes froze.
Missing at sea
The Hong Kong-flagged freighter Jintian sank overnight off the southwest coast of Japan from Tuesday to Wednesday due to strong winds. Fourteen crew members were rescued by the Japan Coast Guard and a search was underway for the eight others who were still missing.