Tags: japan | snowstorm | tokyo

Japan Snowstorm Drops 11 Inches on Tokyo; At Least 11 Killed

Image: Japan Snowstorm Drops 11 Inches on Tokyo; At Least 11 Killed People open their unbrellas to protect from a snowstorm in Shibuya, Tokyo.

Monday, 10 Feb 2014 04:59 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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The worst snowstorm to hit Japan in 45 years has left at least 11 people dead and almost 1,000 injured.

The storm dropped almost 11 inches of snow in Tokyo by Saturday, hitting the capital city right before its gubernatorial election. Voter turnout on Sunday was 46 percent, which is the third lowest ever, EuroNews said.

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Other areas in Japan saw even more snow. Sendai was covered in the most it’s had in 78 years with 13.8 inches of snow.

Most of the people who died or were injured were in automobile accidents, The Telegraph reported.

Along with white-out conditions, more than 20,000 homes were without electricity over the weekend, and many airline flights were canceled, the Telegraph said. More than 700 flights were canceled on Saturday and an additional 300 on Sunday in Tokyo.

Other areas stopped or restricted train services because of the snow, including Shinkansen bullet trains that were temporarily suspended, disrupting more than 100,000 passengers.

The snowstorm was particularly bad because it hit many areas that don't typically see snowfall. In Tokyo, Mount Fuji often blocks storms.

According to AccuWeather, another storm will move in later this week, and it looks much like the one that dropped such heavy snowfalls. There is a chance mild weather could precede the storm, which might turn the moisture to rain in Tokyo.

Even as the snow’s dire consequences were felt, many took to the streets to create art. A Kotaku headline above photos of intricate and amazing snow art reads, “The upside to Japan’s snow storm? Wonderful snow sculptures.”

From cats to stairs filled with dozens of tiny snowmen to Snoopy on his doghouse, the snow sculptures brought some joy during the storm, Kotaku said.

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