Japan sees its lowest temperature this winter this winter

91
2
Japan sees its lowest temperature this winter this winter

Forty-six prefectures saw subzero temperatures on Wednesday morning, despite the strongest cold wave so far this winter, with only Okinawa Prefecture above freezing.

From Tuesday to Wednesday, heavy snow fell in western Japan, leaving passengers on 16 trains stranded between stations in the Kinki region. Thirteen passengers were taken to the hospital.

The cold wave is expected to continue through Thursday.

One death due to heavy snow had been confirmed and two snow-related deaths were under investigation, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno announced at a press conference on the day.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said four locations saw their lowest temperatures on record, including Miyazaki, which dropped to minus 3.9 C. Central Tokyo recorded its lowest temperature this winter at minus 2.9 C.

More than 90% of the nation's observation points, or 867, marked subzero temperatures.

Maniwa, Okayama Prefecture, saw 93 centimeters of snow pile up over the 24 hours to 8 a.m. Wednesday. Daisen, Tottori Prefecture, got 92 centimeters and Otari, Nagano Prefecture, got 66 centimeters over the same time frame.

The passengers of the West Japan Railway Co. were stranded on 15 trains between Takatsuki, Osaka Prefecture and Yamashina, Kyoto Prefecture, on the JR Tokaido Line, and one train on the JR Sanyo Line. The railroad turnouts on several tracks failed due to heavy snow, which is said to have caused the problems.

About 1,300 people spent the night at JR Yamashina Station in Kyoto Prefecture and other places nearby.

A 28 year-old office worker who was on a JR Kosei Line train that stopped near Yamashina Station managed to reach the station at around 3: 30 a.m. Wednesday after walking on snow-covered tracks for about 20 minutes. He had passed about eight hours since he boarded the train at JR Kyoto Station.

The man had stood on the crowded train, unable to turn his body, and there was a long line in front of the toilet. He staved off his hunger by chewing gum, and did not drink any water.

I thought it was dangerous to walk on frozen tracks. The man said he wanted the railway company to get us off much earlier. They could have suspended service in the first place. Japan Airlines had decided to cancel 177 flights as of 10 a.m. Wednesday, while All Nippon Airways had canceled 111 flights as of 8: 30 a.m. that day.

The cold wave is believed to have been caused by westerly winds blowing over Japan to the south, compared to regular years, which facilitated the inflow of cold air from near the North Pole. The meteorological agency believes that the La Nina phenomenon, which causes abnormal weather around the world, may be a factor.