Last week’s snowfall in Japan left more than 20,000 people cut off

Kyodo

More than 20,000 people in Tokyo and nine other prefectures in eastern Japan were cut off following heavy snowfalls last week, local government tallies showed Thursday.

The total is probably higher because officials were having a tough time ascertaining the numbers in areas hit hardest by the snow, including in Yamanashi Prefecture.

Snow started falling heavily last Friday, and many cities, including Tokyo, saw record accumulation in the subsequent days. Twenty-two people have been confirmed killed in the greater Tokyo area and the Tohoku region.

About 1,000 people in Tokyo and three other prefectures were still cut off due to road closures as of Thursday, but all of the affected residents in Miyagi, Nagano and Shizuoka prefectures had regained access to roads, according to officials.

In Yamanashi, where more than double the previous record of snow fell in its capital, Kofu, nearly 300 people were still cut off in rurul communities.

Gunma and Saitama also still had some residents cut off.