Tokyo (January 23, 2018): Heavy snowfall and icy conditions in Tokyo injured dozens of people, grounded flights and paralysed train services Monday after Japan’s weather agency issued its first snow warning for the city in four years.
Commuters in the bustling Japanese metropolis battled home through flurries of snow as the worst of the weather so far hit during evening rush hour.
“At least 67 people have been injured in snow-related accidents in Tokyo and the number is expected to increase further as calls for ambulances have continued,” said a spokesman with the city´s fire department.More than 330 domestic flights departing from and arriving at airports in the Tokyo region were cancelled due to the bad weather, while some regional trains were also suspended, local news reports said.
Japan’s northern regions frequently see heavy snow but such weather is rare in Tokyo. Large crowds struggled through the snow at Shinjuku, the world’s busiest train station, as the nightly rush hour began.
The weather agency only issues a heavy snow alert when there are fears there could be damage to property or disruption to traffic.
“In Tokyo, we also warn of heavy snow if the snow is expected to accumulate more than 10 centimetres (4 inches) in 12 hours,” Sakiko Nishioka from the weather agency said.
The last time the alert was issued, in February 2014, Tokyo saw 27 centimetres of snow.