Hokkaido snowfall breaks records for January

Kyodo News

Record-breaking snow accumulations for the month of January were measured Wednesday in Hokkaido as inclement weather continued to pommel the prefecture as well as a wide area of Honshu along the Sea of Japan, the Meteorological Agency said.

In Erimo, Hokkaido, snow accumulations topped 115 cm, making it one of three observation points in Hokkaido that set a new record for January. Meanwhile, heavy snow stranded about 30 cars on a national road Tuesday night in the town, forcing 111 people to evacuate the vehicles and 84 of them to spend the night at nearby community centers.

Snowstorms may continue until Thursday, the agency said, warning of frozen roads and possible avalanches, as well as rough seas off Hokkaido and the Tohoku region.

More than 40 cm of snow fell on areas of Fukushima and Shiga Prefectures during the 24 hours through Wednesday morning. Winds up to 111.24 kph were also clocked at Cape Erimo.