The polar vortex that has been wreaking havoc over large parts of the US and Canada has also been causing disruptions, chaos, and deaths in large parts of Japan. In the last ten days, Japan has seen at least 17 deaths and 90 injuries related to the sudden cold snap. Many of those who died fell off roofs while removing snow or were buried underneath thick snow sliding off rooftops.
The Japan Meteorological Agency reported heavy snowfalls, blizzards, and high waves in areas on the Sea of Japan side of the country. Record snowfalls have been recorded for many areas, some of which typically do not see snow staying on the ground. Some places have been experiencing three to four times the average snowfall.
Thousands of homes were left without power after heavy snow knocked down an electric power transmission tower in Japan’s northern region. Electricity has since been restored, and the heavy snowfall is expected to ease from today. The persistent snowfalls have caused delays in public transport services and canceled flights.