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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Thursday, August 16, 2018

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For the first time in years, snow alert issued in Japan

Heavy snow warning has been issued for Tokyo

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TOKYO, Japan - For the first time in four years, Japan Weather Agency has issued a ‘Heavy Snow’ alert, warning that there could be damage to property or disruption to traffic. 

The heavy snow warning has been issued for Tokyo, and people have been urged to go home early amid fears of public transport chaos.

The last time the alert was issued, in February 2014, Tokyo saw 27 centimetres of snow.

Sakiko Nishioka from the weather agency said in a statement, “In Tokyo, we also warn of heavy snow if the snow is expected to accumulate more than 10 centimetres (4 inches) in 12 hours.”

Authorities further said that scores of domestic flights departing from and arriving at the Japanese capital were scrapped due to the snow.

At Tokyo’s Haneda airport, around 250 flights were cancelled.

Some regional trains were also cancelled and some highways remained closed as icy conditions set up, leading to traffic accidents.

While Japan's northern regions frequently witnesses heavy blankets of snow, such weather is quite rare in Tokyo.

Tsumoru Matsumoto, the agency's chief forecaster has said that the snowfall is expected to get heavier and people have been urged to cut short their working day.

Matsumoto said, "There will be heavy snow this evening" in Tokyo.

He also warned that "the snow is likely to affect public transport" when the evening commute begins.

The warning also comes as Shinjuku, the world's busiest train station, faced heavy snowfall during the nightly rush hour.

A disaster management centre in the prime minister’s office was collating information on the situation and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a news conference, “We will respond to this based on various scenarios. We call on all citizens to keep informed about the latest conditions and beware of transport delays.”

 

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