TOKYO (TR) – The worst snow storm in Japan in six years killed as many as 52 people and injured another 600, according to the International Business Times.
A series of storms stretching across much of the main island of Honshu and the northern island of Hokkaido since the New Year have battered the nation which is still trying to recover from the March 11, earthquake and tsunami that killed as many as 20,000 people. Nearly half the cities in the western prefecture of Niigata have already spent the funds earmarked for snow removal this year, the IBT said, citing news reports.
Most of the deaths occurred while people removed snow from roofs or roads. An avalanche in Akita prefecture killed three people. Blizzard like conditions have also led to the cancellation of numerous flights and train delays in those areas hardest hit by the storms.
Snowfall during the 2005 and 2006 winter led to the deaths of as many as 152 people, many of who died in mountain villages which were made inaccessible, the IBT said. More snow fall is expected along the Sea of Japan, the Japan Meteorological Agency warned.
Source: International Business Times