Tokyo digs out from heavy snow, transport disruptions remain

Pedestrians walking on a street as snow falls in Tokyo, Japan, on Jan 22, 2018.
Pedestrians walking on a street as snow falls in Tokyo, Japan, on Jan 22, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (REUTERS) - The Japanese capital of Tokyo on Tuesday (Jan 23) dug out from more than 20 cm of snow that had snarled traffic, trapping cars on bridges and in tunnels, although transport delays remained around the metropolis.

The snow that began on Monday morning tapered off early on Tuesday after dumping some 23 cm on a city that rarely has snow accumulate, with freezing temperatures keeping snow-choked roads slick and pedestrians wary.

Most commuter lines were operating normally, but a number of train services were cancelled and highways remained closed, while airports struggled to clear a backlog of flights.

Cancelled flights and a lack of transport left 6,000 people stuck at Narita airport overnight.

"I slept on the floor last night, but at least my flight to Hawaii will leave later today, so I'm looking forward to that,"one woman told national broadcaster NHK.

More than 740 traffic accidents due to the snow were reported, and 67 people were injured from falls as of last night, NHK added.

About 50 cars got stuck and unable to move on the "Rainbow Bridge" along Tokyo's waterfront on Monday night, while traffic jams set off by heavy snow trapped a number of cars inside a tunnel for as much as 10 hours.

 
 

The Japanese capital, which is on roughly the same latitude as the US city of Raleigh, North Carolina, often sees snow at least once a year, but it rarely accumulates.