Vehicles stranded on expressway between Nagoya and Kyoto due to snow

Heavy snow in central and western Japan has left vehicles stranded over a 10-kilometer stretch of expressway between Nagoya and Kyoto.

The Central Nippon Expressway Company says vehicles have become trapped on the Shin-Meishin Expressway between the Komono Interchange in Mie Prefecture and the Koka-Tsuchiyama Interchange in Shiga Prefecture.

The expressway operator urged drivers to take the nearest exit as snow became heavier on Tuesday, causing intermittent traffic jams in Mie Prefecture.

But some sections of the expressway remained jammed. Officials say vehicles traveling in both directions were stranded as of noon on Wednesday.

The fire department in Kameyama City, Mie Prefecture says it dispatched an ambulance after the driver of one of the vehicles complained of feeling ill on Wednesday morning.

The expressway operator is handing out food, water and portable toilets to the stranded drivers while attempting to clear the roads and exits of snow.