• Kyodo


Around 6,300 households in Hokkaido were still without electricity in freezing temperatures Thursday night after a snowstorm cut power to as many as 56,000 households in the prefecture the previous day, local authorities and a regional utility said.

Some 260 people whose heating equipment was paralyzed by the blackout spent two nights in a row Tuesday and Wednesday at evacuation centers in six cities and towns, the Hokkaido Prefectural Government said.

“We made it somehow by boiling water on a portable gas stove and eating instant noodles,” said Toshiko Yoshida, a housewife in Noboribetsu.

On Wednesday, the mercury dropped to minus 5.7 degrees in Noboribetsu, the lowest temperature logged this winter.

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