• Kyodo


The Sumida River fireworks show, one of the biggest in the nation, was canceled Saturday for the first time in 35 years by a thunderstorm.

“It was cloudy at first, but strong winds started to blow after the first 10 minutes and then it turned to thunderstorm,” said Yuya Kawanaka, 18, who traveled from Wako, Saitama Prefecture, to see the show, which fizzled after the first 30 minutes.

It was the show’s first cancelation since 1978, when it was named the Sumida River Fireworks Festival, the organizers said.

An estimated 790,000 people were expected to throng central Tokyo to watch the more than 20,000 rounds light up the sky from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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