Strong Snowfall and an Erupting Volcano Caused Chaos in Japan
Hundreds of cars have been blocked on Monday night on Tuesday in the Yamate Tokyo Tunnel due to heavy snowfall. Some passengers were forced to walk to get to the escape stairs and get out, news agencies reported. The 18-kilometer-long tunnel underground in downtown Tokyo is considered the longest in Japan. On Monday night, due to the snow, the traffic on many stretches of the city's highways was stopped. As CNH TV reported on one of the Yamate Tunnel exits because of the snow cars they could not climb the steepest canvas. Within a few hours there was a traffic jam, about ten kilometers long. The city offices cleaned the roads, but the cars in the tunnel stayed for about ten hours. After some time some passengers decided to drop the cars and walk to the escape stairs to get out. The movement was resumed at 6am local time.
Over the past twenty-four hours in Tokyo there has been over 20 centimeters of snow, the temperatures are low and the roads are slippery. In the Japanese capital, is often snowing, but it rarely stays for long, according to Reuters.
The snow has stopped and the city services continue to clear the streets, while local residents, shop owners and restaurants are cleaning up the sidewalks. However, the movement is still difficult, some trains are delayed. Thousands were forced to spend the night at Narita Airport, because the snow had closed the slopes and canceled about 150 flights. After midnight the airport gradually resumed work. About 70 people have been injured in Tokyo because of the snow, mostly from falling. About 740 crashes have been reported.
A Japanese soldier died on Tuesday and others were wounded after a volcano erupted causing an avalanche near a ski station northwest of Tokyo, the France press reported. A serviceman of Japanese defense forces was killed by an avalanche while practicing, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry told AFP. Five other soldiers were injured.
A little earlier, a rescue officer said a 49-year-old man died without adding details. According to rescuers, after the eruption of the Kusatsu-Shiring volcano, another 10 people were injured in the center of the main Japanese island of Honshu, five of them had severe injuries. Among them are four were wounded from the scattered glass in a lift booth struck by volcanic stone. The lift has stopped due to a power outage, and according to local authorities, there are 78 people were stuck, and TVNH reported that 8 of them received help.
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