Hokkaido residents still in the dark after snowstorm

6 years ago by in Featured, Japan

About 8,100 households in the northern prefecture of Hokkaido were still without power on Wednesday night in freezing temperatures, after a powerful snowstorm left up to 56,000 households without power on Tuesday.

People in cities in southern Hokkaido were evacuated to special centers due to power outages. The temperatures hit a record-low for this winter, with Noboribetsu reporting minus 5.7 Celsius, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

About 290 people reportedly spent the night at evacuation centers in Noboribetsu and other six cities and towns, the authorities said.

Despite efforts from Hokkaido Electric Power, the power lines are not fully repaired and new blackouts continue to be caused by snow, Kyodo reported.

58 flights had to be canceled at New Chitose Airport near Sapporo on Tuesday, while in the port city of Muroran, trees downed by the snowstorm blocked roads causing traffic jams and prevented emergency vehicles from getting where they were needed.