At least six people were killed this weekend during blizzards that swept across the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, according to the police.
A 40-year-old woman and her three teenaged children were found dead on Saturday in a car entirely covered by snow, in the town of Nakashibetsu, eastern Hokkaido. According to the police, the four people are believed to have died due to carbon monoxide inhaling.
In the same town, another woman aged 23 was found dead on Sunday, buried in snow, about 300 metres far from her car.
Heavy snow falling also killed a 53 year-old man in Yubetsu, northwest of Nakashibetsu, on Sunday. He was found buried in snow together with his nine-year-old daughter, who was taken to the hospital and who survived with no life-threatening injuries, as her father apparently placed his body over his daughter’s.
Japan’s meteorological agency issued recently a warning of strong winds and heavy snow in northern Japan, the international press reports.
Also, a new snow accumulation record for Japan was reported last week in Aomori Prefecture, at a hot spring resort area of Sukayu, according to the local weather agency. Snow had piled up to 566 centimeters as of 4 a.m. amid an intermittent downfall, set off by a wintry weather system sweeping across the northeastern Tohoku region.
Among other locations that faced great snow falls are Nishiwaga, Iwate Prefecture, that measured 279 centimeters of snow and Tadami, Fukushima Prefecture, that hit 333 centimeters of snow — record highs for all both spots.