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Heavy snow claims 3 lives in Japan

 
 
 
 
 
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Children play in a snow-covered park in Sapporo in Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido on December 17, 2014.

Heavy snow blanketing swathes of Japan has claimed the lives of at least three people in the country.

Two elderly women died on the northernmost island of Hokkaido and a man was killed in a traffic accident on snow-bound roads in Hiroshima, Japanese officials said on Thursday.

There was also widespread disruption to travel, with around 100 domestic flights canceled.

Reports say the famous bullet train network was also struggling to stick to its schedules.

The snow, accompanied by strong gusting winds of up to 140 kilometers, has been causing tidal surges. It also sparked warnings to keep people away from the water’s edge in coastal areas.

Japan’s meteorological agency said that the mountain town of Tsunan, near the Sea of Japan (East Sea) coast, has witnessed 185 centimeters of snowfall in 24 hours.

It predicted that parts of northern Honshu could see up to 80 centimeters of snowfall by Friday morning.

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