Massive Snowfall Totals in Parts of Japan
AVN / NHK / CNN
Weather officials are warning people in Hokkaido to be cautious over a possible white out due to a snowstorm, as strong gusts of wind caused by low-pressure systems are prevailing across Japan.
The strong snowstorm hit northern Japan and other areas on Wednesday, paralyzing road and air traffic.
The country's meteorological agency says two low-pressure systems as strong as a typhoon off Hokkaido are bringing the snow and gusts of wind to northern Japan.
Gusts exceeded 130 kilometers per hour at a point in southern Hokkaido. Around 70 centimeters (over 27 inches) of snow has fallen in the eastern part of the island in the past 24 hours.
The storm caused cancellations of more than 420 flights in and out of the region. Thousands of households lost electricity. Around 1,100 schools were closed in northern and eastern Hokkaido. The storm also caused high tides, flooding residential areas in Hokkaido's coastal city of Nemuro.
In the northeastern part of Japan's main island, a branch line of the Shinkansen bullet trains halted operations. The storm brought many cities in western Japan their first snow of the year, though the amount was small.
The weather agency officials say the lows will soon combine into a storm system with a strength seen only every several years. They are warning people, especially in Hokkaido, to stay indoors.
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