Heavy snowfall in Japan kills 13 as weather officials ask residents to stay alert for blizzards

At least 13 people have died in Japan in the past week due to extreme weather conditions.

According to local reports, there has been heavy snow across northern and western Japan, prompting weather officials to issue warnings for residents to be safe during the winter blizzard.

On Friday, disaster prevention minister Koichi Tani joined prime minister Fumio Kishida in calling for extreme alertness over the Christmas weekend.

They urged citizens not to step out of their houses unless absolutely necessary.

According to The Straits Times, about 200 domestic flights were cancelled in Japan on Friday, with road closures reported over 58 sections on 15 expressways.

Over 10,000 residents are also suffering from power blackouts with approximately 2,700 homes in Niigata living without power for over five days.

The Japan Meteorological Agency has issued heavy snow warnings until Monday (26 December). The agency also revealed that snowstorms and high waves in northern Japan and along the Sea of Japan coast could cause snow as deep as 60 cm.

According to the latest statistics from the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, 13 people have died and 80 others have been reported injured.

An 85-year-old man died after falling into a ditch while removing snow in the hardest-hit town of Kashiwazaki in Niigata.

In Hokkaido, a 63-year-old woman was crushed between two trucks trying to get out of the snow, and in Akita, a 73-year-old man also fell to the ground while removing rooftop snow and died, according to officials and reports.

The largest cause of injuries were people who slipped and fell while walking on slippery roads.

Additional reporting from agencies


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