Well, here we are folks, the terrible snow storm that I reported on exactly one week ago shows no sign of letting up and now at least 83 people in Japan have died.
Agence France-Presse reports in: Japan braces for more snow as death toll hits 83
TOKYO–Northern Japan was bracing for more heavy snow Friday as severe winter weather continues to cause misery across a large part of the country, claiming at least 83 lives so far.
Forecasters were predicting up to 60 centimeters (24 inches) of snow would fall in parts of the northernmost island of Hokkaido and in the north of Japan’s main island of Honshu over 24 hours.
In Sukayu, in Aomori prefecture, where the temperature dropped to minus 12.8 degrees Celsius (10 degrees Fahrenheit) on Friday, more than four meters of snow is already lying on the ground, with more forecast.
In Hijiori in northwestern Yamagata prefecture, where the average annual snowfall is 2.6 meters, there is already four meters of snow.
The snow has extended over a wide area of the country with Kasumi in Hyogo prefecture north of Kyoto getting 82 centimeters nearly seven times its annual average of 12 centimeters.
Since November when snow started to fall, 60 people have died as they were removing snow from roofs or roads.
Heavy loads of snow falling from buildings or other structures have killed 15 people and four more have died in avalanches, including at a popular hot springs resort, the disaster management agency said.
The extreme weather, which has filled evening news reports for weeks, has also claimed four other lives, the government agency said.
Video quick translation:
This is the most snow the Japan Sea side of Japan has seen in several years. THe old woman being interviewed says it's the most snow in decades. In Hokkaido, Aomori and Yamagata it's the most snow they've had in seven years. In Toyama, it snowed 30 centimeters overnight and now has had 80 centimeters which is the most snow in 16 years. Not only that, though, according to the weather reports, these areas are looking to be hit with another 30 ~ 50 centimeters of snow in the next few days.
Yamagata has been hit with 91 cm of snow. The most in 31 years.
I must say, as a person who works with major Japanese broadcasting stations, the most interesting thing about all this has been the sudden ending of commercials and station spots talking about how the broadcasting stations are tying up with this company (or that) to fight against Global Warming... Of course, it wouldn't do to be broadcasting commercials on TV or the radio that say things like,
"Stop the Global Warming!"
When people are freezing their a*sses off and dying. I'll bet those people in northern Japan would love to have some of that Global Warming right now.
By the way, that Kyoto statistic is interesting, Japan has been keeping consistent and competent weather records since the early 1950s. That 82 centimeters in Kyoto at seven times the annual average is the highest it's been in over 35 years.... And there's no sign of the snow letting up.
We could be heading for the worst winter in 30 or 40 years for Japan.