Japan blizzard: 1,000 people trapped in 9-mile traffic jam overnight

Traffic congestion on the Connecticut Expressway connecting Tokyo and Naikata began to emerge on Wednesday. In the early hours of Thursday morning, authorities closed the highway entrance to ease congestion.

Jam According to the Nippon Expressway Company (Nexo), the country’s highway operator, a car got stuck in deep snow in the middle of the highway and stopped traffic.

The central and northern regions of the country were hit by heavy snowfall that morning, disrupting traffic and causing some communities to lose power.

Traffic was built on the congested highway; At its peak on Thursday night, the congestion lasted up to 15 kilometers (about 9.3 miles), according to Nexco CNN. Some sections of the long traffic line were able to move slowly with starts and stops, but some motorists were stuck in that spot for more than 40 hours.

The jam continued until Friday; Roads from Tokyo were eventually cleared, but roads to the capital were still closed. As of noon on Friday, 1,000 more cars were stuck.

Photos of the highway show long lines of immovable cars, with many vehicles stranded in the middle of many snow-covered fields with piles of snow above and around their vehicles.

Emergency responders on Thursday received some limited relief when they were sent rice balls, bread, crackers, sweets and 600 bottles of water and thousands of liters of petrol and diesel oil.

But that was not enough, and the drivers were still stuck in the cold for several hours.

“The snow was so heavy, as time went on, the cars were buried. I was so scared,” said an unnamed driver. Japanese public broadcaster NHK. “I ate all my food and drinks. Now, to drink water, I have to melt the ice I collect in a plastic bottle.”
Japanese Defense Forces prepare food and water for people stranded on the Connecticut Expressway on December 17.

A woman in her 30s and a man in their 60s were taken to hospital on Thursday from Jam for respiratory problems and nausea, said Sujoshi Watanabe, crisis management officer in Naikata. No serious or serious incidents have been reported so far.

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Friday called for the deployment of Japanese defenses to help deliver water, food, gasoline and small toilets to people still stranded and clear the snow.

Nexco warns drivers via social media and radio to be wary of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning while waiting in their cars for hours at a time.

The NHK said Prime Minister Yoshihide had met with health ministers to discuss the severe snowfall and called on local authorities to work together to restore services and help those affected.

The story has been updated to reflect that the traffic jam started on Wednesday.

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