Tags: japan | avalanche | killed | high school | students

Japan Avalanche Kills 8, Including 7 High School Students, Injures 40

Image: Japan Avalanche Kills 8, Including 7 High School Students, Injures 40
Rescuers carry the people who got injured in an avalanche at a ski resort in Nasu, Tochigi prefecture, Monday, March 27, 2017. (Yoshitaka Sugawara/Kyodo News via AP)

By    |   Monday, 27 Mar 2017 10:01 AM

In Japan, an avalanche at a ski resort in the town of Nasu, Tochigi prefecture, on Monday killed eight people, seven of them high school students, local fire officials said.

Some 40 people were injured in the avalanche at the Nasuonsen Family Ski Resort at around 9:20 a.m. Monday, fire officials told the Kyodo News. The news service said that more than 60 students were thought to have been on the slope when the incident happened.

The avalanche came after heavy snowfall overnight, when more than a foot of snow accumulated on the Nasu highlights, The Guardian noted, quoting Japan Meteorological Agency data. Avalanche advisories stayed in force there Monday.

Students and teachers involved in a spring mountaineering club climbing event started scaling the slopes around 7:30 a.m. and scheduled to wrap up about noon, Kyodo News reported. The climbing event had been going on since Saturday.

Poor weather conditions initially slowed rescue efforts at the ski area, which is about 125 miles north of Tokyo, CNN reported.

Japan Prime Minister Shinzō Abe said the government would ensure the rescue was a top priority after Japan's Self Defense Forces were asked to help with the disaster response, according to The Guardian.

NHK World meteorologist Robert Speta said, according to The Guardian, that Tochigi prefecture had taken on an increase in unusual snow in recent days, increasing the avalanche risk with higher temperatures.

"Typically it tapers off in late March, the snowpack settles and it's OK for climbing and off-piste skiing, but just recently we had this big spike in the snow depth," Speta said.

"We had heavy snow, that condensed (with the warmer weather), and then once you have somebody on top of that, that creates a trigger. These are all a recipe for avalanche creation," Speta added.

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In Japan, an avalanche at a ski resort in the town of Nasu, Tochigi prefecture, on Monday killed eight people, seven of them high school students, local fire officials said.
japan, avalanche, killed, high school, students
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2017-01-27
Monday, 27 Mar 2017 10:01 AM
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