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Dublin: 7 °C Monday 18 November, 2019
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Heaviest snow in decades leaves 11 dead, over 1,000 injured in Japan

Most of the deaths involved road crashes and many of the injuries were caused by falls on the ice.

Railway station workers shove snow from the street in Yokohama, Japan.
Railway station workers shove snow from the street in Yokohama, Japan.
Image: Eugene Hoshiko/AP/PA

THE HEAVIEST SNOW in decades in Tokyo and other areas of Japan has left at least 11 dead and more than 1,200 injured across the country, reports said today.

As much as 27 centimetres of snow was recorded in Tokyo by late yesterday, the heaviest fall in the capital for 45 years, according to meteorologists.

The storm hit Tokyo on the eve of its gubernatorial election.

Observers said the weather may affect voter turnout in the city of 13 million people. As of 6pm turnout was down more than 10 percentage points from a previous poll during the last mayoral election. The government-backed candidate Yoichi Masuzoe was today announced the winner.

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People walk against blowing snow in Tokyo today (Image: Koji Sasahara/AP/PA).

As a depression moved along the Pacific coast yesterday, the northeastern city of Sendai saw 35 centimetres of snow, the heaviest in 78 years.

Local media said at least 11 people have been killed with one person also in critical condition in snow-linked accidents – mostly crashes after their cars skidded on icy roads.

In central Aichi prefecture, a 50-year-old man died after his car slipped on the icy road and rammed into an advertisement steel pole, a local rescuer said.

Public broadcaster NHK reported at least 1,253 people were injured across the nation, many of whom had slipped on the ground or fallen while shovelling the snow off their roofs.

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A child holds a ball of snow near a half buried motorcycle in Yokohama, near Tokyo (Image: Junji Kurokawa/AP/PA).

More than 20,000 households were without electricity early today while airlines cancelled more than 400 domestic flights a day after over 740 flights were grounded.

Nearly 5,000 people were stranded at Narita airport Saturday as traffic linking the airport to the capital was disrupted, NHK said.

Further snowfall is expected today  in the northern part of the country, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

- © AFP 2014.

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