Survivors of New Year's Day quake warned against impact of cold weather and snow

Some of the areas hit by the magnitude 7.6 earthquake that struck central Japan on New Year's Day remain in the grip of a cold spell. Snow is piled up on the ground in places.

Japan's Meteorological Agency said as of 6 a.m. on Friday 11 centimeters of snow had accumulated in the cities of Suzu and Kanazawa, and 9 centimeters had piled up in Nanao City.

Overnight lows recorded by 6 a.m. on Friday were minus 1.1 degrees Celsius in parts of Wajima City and 0.2 degrees in Nanao City.

Officials are warning drivers to be careful, as the snow and icy roads are causing traffic disruptions. They are also warning people engaged in recovery work to use caution and avoid falling over.

Some survivors have apparently died as a result of living in shelters or evacuation centers for many days after the quake.

Officials are advising evacuees to take steps to prevent hypothermia. Officials are encouraging them to check each other's health, use blankets to keep warm, and exercise regularly to prevent their body temperatures from falling.