Japan has been hit by severe snow storms in recent weeks with some parts of the country seeing double the average expected snowfall. A huge snowstorm has struck Tohoku Expressway in north Japan in Miyagi prefecture at around noon (03:00 GMT) on Tuesday. It caused an 134-car pile-up, killing one person and injuring at least 17. About 50 of the vehicles were damaged. Some 200 people have been caught up in the pile-up. Multiple vehicles collided. Those who were involved have been given drinking water and food, and have been provided with blankets to keep warm. The Japan Meteorological Agency’s regional headquarters in Sendai registered a maximum wind speed of around 100 kilometers per hour, a record for January, near the accident site at around 11:55 a.m.
Avalanches and snow accretion are also expected in the Hokkaido, Tohoku and Hokuriku regions, the agency said. In the 24 hours through 6 a.m. Wednesday, parts of the Hokuriku, Tohoku and Hokkaido regions are expected to record snowfall of up to 50 centimeters, 40 cm and 30 cm . A number of train services in the Tohoku region were cancelled. An emergency meeting was called by the country’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. The government set up a liaison office in the crisis management center.