Vehicles stuck in heavy snow, accidents reported

Heavy snow is continuing to fall along the Sea of Japan side of central Japan. Vehicles were stranded and accidents were reported in many areas.

More than 1,000 vehicles were stranded earlier on Sunday on the Hokuriku Expressway in Fukui Prefecture. About 340 vehicles were still snowed in at 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Members of the Ground Self-Defense Force are removing snow from the expressway at the request of the prefectural government. Highway operator Central Nippon Expressway is delivering relief supplies to drivers.

On the Tokai-Hokuriku Expressway in Toyama Prefecture, about 200 vehicles were stuck at one point on Sunday.
Ground Self-Defense Force personnel cleared the snow and the number of stranded vehicles was reduced to around 90 by 12:30 p.m.

The snow has also caused accidents.

In Fukui Prefecture, three people died after getting buried in snow. At least 49 people were taken to hospital.

In Niigata Prefecture, a 57-year-old man was found lying half buried in snow in front of his house. He later died. Police believe the snow slid off a rooftop. At least 97 people have been injured in the prefecture.

In Toyama Prefecture, 62 people were taken to hospital.