News World Japan snow causes 20-hour traffic hold-ups

Japan snow causes 20-hour traffic hold-ups

Hundreds of cars are stranded due to heavy snow on a road in western Japan. Photo: Kyodo
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A snowstorm in Japan has trapped hundreds of vehicles in massive traffic snarls that lasted for over 20 hours and required army assistance to clear.

In Tottori Prefecture the snow has reportedly already surpassed one metre in depth and other regions are also expecting heavy snowfall, with areas near Tokyo expecting up to 40 centimetres of snow in the next 24 hours.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, thermometers in Shimukappu area on the northern island of Hokkaido plummeted to 32.8C below zero, while the metropolitan area of Tokyo recorded a minimum of 1.9C below zero.

The snow also caused traffic snarls that stretched up to 2km in western Japan and more than 300 cars were trapped in snow in a mountainous region of Tottori.

The traffic hold-up began at approximately 2pm on Monday and continued in some places until well into Tuesday morning, Japanese media reported.

Dozens of travellers, who were stranded in the snow, took refuge from the cold at a local auditorium and other makeshift shelters.

The governor of Tottori requested army assistance for bringing food to those affected and to help clear the snow and move vehicles.