Heavy snow in Japan leaves 17 dead and more than 90 people injured

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By Euronews  with AP
Residents shovel snow off a sidewalk in Kanazawa, central Japan.
Residents shovel snow off a sidewalk in Kanazawa, central Japan.   -   Copyright  AP

Heavy snow in large swaths of Japan has killed 17, injured more than 90 people and left hundreds of homes without power, disaster management officials said on Monday.

Powerful winter fronts have dumped heavy snow in northern regions since last week, stranding hundreds of vehicles on highways, delaying delivery services, and causing 11 deaths by Saturday.

Municipal offices in the snow-hit regions urged residents to use caution during snow removal activity and not to work alone.

The disaster management agency said a woman in her 70s was found dead buried underneath a thick pile of rooftop snow that fell on her in Yamagata prefecture’s Nagai City, about 300 kilometres north of Tokyo.

Many parts of northeastern Japan reported three times their average snowfall for the season.

Heavy snow knocked down an electric power transmission tower in Japan’s northernmost main island, leaving about 20,000 homes without power on Christmas morning for several hours.

Dozens of trains and flights were also suspended in northern Japan through Sunday, but services have since mostly resumed, according to the transportation ministry.

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