Cars stranded, flights cancelled as heavy snow blankets Japan
TOKYO - Heavy snowfall in large areas of Japan on Wednesday forced hundreds of flight cancellations and snarled traffic for miles, local media reported.
Domestic airlines including ANA and Japan Airlines cancelled more than 300 flights, while bullet train services were suspended or delayed in northern Japan, media reported.
National roads could be closed for snow to be removed, the transport ministry said.
Drivers have been urged to avoid making journeys that are not essential and to keep monitoring weather and traffic conditions. In areas where snow and ice have formed, drivers were advised to use winter tires and snow chains where necessary.
On a highway in central Japan, cars and trucks were unable to move in the snow over a distance of about 10km, public broadcaster NHK said.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said some parts of the country could see the mercury drop to the lowest levels seen in a decade. The frosty climes are expected to continue through Thursday, the weather agency also said.
An outdoor thermometer in northern Japan recorded a temperature of minus 24 deg C in the Hokkaido town of Rikubetsu. - REUTERS