Monday, 25 January 2016

Record-breaking snowfall kills 50 and left 60,000 stranded as cold air mass grips East Asia: Record breaking snow fall recorded in Japan


A cold snap sweeping across East Asia has led to more than 50 deaths in Taiwan and stranded at least 60,000 tourists in South Korea.
Taiwanese media reported a rash of deaths from hypothermia and cardiac disease following a sudden drop in temperature over the weekend.
Meanwhile heavy snow forced the closure of the airport on the Korean holiday island of Jeju, cancelling flights.
The cold spell has also hit Hong Kong, southern China and Japan.
Five people died and more than 100 were injured Sunday as a cold air mass gripped Japan, with record-breaking heavy snowfall in western and central areas of the country.
The weather forced airlines to cancel many flights and West Japan Railway Co to reduce the speed of bullet trains on sections of the Sanyo Shinkansen lines.
The blanket of snow reached as far as southwestern Japanese cities such as Nagasaki and Kagoshima. On Kyushu island, Nagasaki saw a record 17 centimeters of snow, Kagoshima 11 cm and Saga 7 cm, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
Amami Island, a subtropical island located some 380 kilometers southwest of Kagoshima City, observed snowfall for the first time in 115 years.
The temperature in Kunigami in subtropical Okinawa Prefecture dropped to a record-low 3.9 C at 8 p.m. Sunday.
The mercury stayed below freezing in Fukuoka, Kumamoto and other cities in the Kyushu region throughout the day.
In Aomori Prefecture, a woman died after she fell from a roof while she was trying to remove snow. In Tochigi Prefecture, a man died in a traffic accident linked to the severe weather.
In Niigata Prefecture, a couple died after they fell into an irrigation channel, apparently during snow-removal work, while a man died after being found under a snow plow.
Around the country, over 100 people suffered weather-related injuries, with 65 cases reported in Kyushu and 17 in the Kanto-Koshin area as of 5 p.m., according a Kyodo News tally of reports from local authorities.
Shortly after midnight Saturday, 11 cars and other vehicles were involved in pileups on a road in Fukuoka Prefecture in freezing condition amid snowfall, injuring two men, police said.
Around 6 a.m., six teenagers who climbed the 847.5-meter Mt Kusembu straddling Fukuoka and Saga prefectures called for help, saying they were unable to descend due to snow.
Local firefighters found them near the peak of the mountain and rescued them about 90 minutes later. The weather agency has warned that severe weather will continue through Monday morning in western Japan and the Hokuriku region on the Sea of Japan coast.
Up to 70 cm of snow is expected through Monday afternoon in the Hokuriku region, 60 cm in Tohoku, 50 cm in Kanto-Koshin, Tokai, Kinki and Chugoku and 40 cm in northern Kyushu, according to the agency.

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