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'Worst in decades': 11 dead, 1,200 injured in Japan snowstorm (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Published time: February 09, 2014 11:38
Edited time: February 11, 2014 11:03

A woman holds onto a damaged umbrella due to strong winds during a heavy snowfall in Tokyo February 8, 2014 (Reuters / Toru Hanai)

Download video (5.61 MB)

The heaviest snowstorm in nearly half a century in Tokyo and other areas of Japan has caused a rash of snow-linked accidents, resulting in nearly a dozen deaths and injuring more than a thousand people.

Watch more pictures from snow-stricken Japan in RT's Galleries

Up to 27 centimeters (10.6 inches) of snow was recorded in Tokyo by late Saturday, the heaviest fall in the capital for 45 years, according to meteorologists.

Approximately 35 centimeters (13.8 inches) of snow was dumped on the northeastern city of Sendai as a depression moved along the Pacific coast on Saturday, resulting in the heaviest snowfall in 78 years. Fukushima was also blanketed in 44 centimeters (17.3 inches of snow.)

A jetliner of Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA) taxis at Tokyo's Haneda airport covered by the snow on February 8, 2014 (AFP Photo / Kazuhiro Nogi)

Local media now report that at least eleven people have been killed in snow-linked accidents – mostly caused by drivers crashing after losing control on the icy roads. In central Aichi prefecture, a 50-year-old man died after his car lost traction and slammed into a billboard, AFP reports, citing a local rescuer.

NHK reported at least 1,253 people have been injured nationwide, many of whom slipped and fell while shoveling the snow off their roofs.

A woman walks in a park near the Imperial Palace as snow falls in Tokyo February 8, 2014 (Reuters / Toru Hanai)

Meanwhile, the Tokyo Electric Power Company said that as of 6 am local time, more than 20,000 households in Ibaraki and Chiba prefecture were without power, the Japanese public broadcaster reports. The heavy snowfall and wind are believed to have caused the power outages.

The inclement weather has also disrupted air travelers, with over 200 domestic flights being canceled on Sunday. Around 5,000 travelers flying internationally were forced to spend the night in Tokyo Narita Airport because of the weather. Train services in the capital were also disrupted.

Weather officials say that more snow, strong winds and high waves are expected on Sunday.

Visitors take photos at the Imperial Palace as snow falls in Tokyo February 8, 2014 (Reuters / Toru Hanai)

The massive snowstorms come as the Tokyo gubernatorial election commenced on Sunday. The former governor, Naoki Inose, was forced to resign in December over a political funds related scandal.

Major candidates include former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa, former health minister Yoichi Masuzoe, former Air Self-Defense Force chief Toshio Tamogami, and Kenji Utsunomiya, former head of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, Kyodo News Reports.

Octogenarian inventor, Yoshiro Nakamatsu, is also running for the governor's post for the seventh time, along with Kazuma Ieiri, a 35-year-old company executive who is crowd sourcing policy ideas from citizens.
The hotly contested race could be damped by the weather, however, with observers saying heavy snowfall could affect turnout in the city of 13 million people.

Comments (27)


Eleanor Wallace 15.02.2014 09:35

And another storm this weekend


Hiroshi Suzuki 12.02.2014 19:17

Tokyo Electric Admits Withholding Stronitum 90 Readings
Februar y 11th, 2014 Fukushima – SimplyInfo

Tokyo Electric has admitted Tokyo Electric knew about the extremely high strontium 90 readings and the issues with Tokyo Electric testing equipment back in July 2013 but did NOT make any of this information public.

The timing makes the issue even more suspect since the bid for the Olympics was being decided about the same time.

Now Tokyo Electric admits Tokyo Electric knew about the error and what the correct readings were the entire time.


Suzuki Hiroshi 11.02.2014 17:45

75 Suspected Thyroid Cancers In Fukushima Children, NOT Normal
February 10th, 2014 Fukushima – SimplyInfo
The number of Fukushima children found with confirmed or suspected thyroid cancers continues to grow.

In 2008 the number of thyroid cancers per 100,000 children were extremely low. Those under 18 had levels of zero to 1.4 incidence per 100,000 children. So far the Fukushima Health Survey has screened 254,000 Fukushima children. The current rate of confirmed thyroid cancers from the Fukushima Health Survey is 12.99 per 100,000 or 29.52 per 100,000 if you use the suspected number of thyroid cancers set at 75.

View all comments (27)
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