News World Five dead, 600 injured as snowstorm hits

Five dead, 600 injured as snowstorm hits

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The heaviest snow in decades in Tokyo and other areas of Japan has left at least five dead and 600 injured across the country.

As much as 27 centimetres of snow was recorded in Tokyo by late on Saturday, the heaviest fall in the capital for 45 years, according to the country’s meteorological agency.

The snowstorm hit the capital on the eve of its gubernatorial election.

Observers say the heavy snowfall might affect voter turnout in the city of 13 million people.

As a depression moved along the Pacific coast north on Saturday, the northeastern city of Sendai received 35cm of snow, the heaviest in 78 years.

Local media said at least five people had been killed in snow-linked accidents – mostly crashes after cars skidded on icy roads.

Public broadcaster NHK reported more than 600 people were injured across the nation.

More than 20,000 households were still without electricity early on Sunday while airlines cancelled 200 domestic flights a day after more than 740 flights were grounded on Saturday.

Nearly 5000 people were stranded at Narita airport as traffic linking the airport to the capital was disrupted, NHK said.

Further snowfall is expected on Sunday in northern Japan, the weather agency said.