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Japan:Snow-related deaths rise to 51 in Japan

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Laaska News Feb. 1, 2012

Deaths from snow-related accidents are increasing at a faster pace in Japan, as heavy snowfall hits northern parts of the country.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency says 51 people have died in snow-related incidents so far this winter, excluding traffic accidents. Thirty of them have died in the past 15 days.

Niigata Prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast has 12 deaths, the largest number, followed by Hokkaido with 10 and Aomori Prefecture with 9.

About 70 percent of the victims were people aged 65 or older. Nearly 90 percent of the accidents occurred while victims were clearing snow from the roofs of their homes or other places.
Weather officials warn that the heavy snow will continue along the Sea of Japan coast until Thursday.

Some parts of Niigata and Yamagata prefectures have had about 50 centimeters of snow in the past 24 hours.

As of Tuesday evening, Tsunan Town in Niigata had nearly 3.3 meters of snow; Iiyama City in Nagano Prefecture had 2 meters; and Shinjo City in Yamagata had 1.6 meters.
January 31

Laaska News.