• Kyodo

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All inhabitants of towns in Tokushima Prefecture cut off by last weekend’s heavy snowfall are safe, officials said Tuesday after intensive efforts to reach residents.

But rescue teams remained unable to clear the roads to some areas. Roughly 120 households — about 200 people — in the city of Miyoshi and the neighboring towns of Tsurugi and Higashimiyoshi remained cut off as of Tuesday morning.

Some parts of Japan had more than a meter of snowfall, and there were seven recorded deaths nationwide.

Local officials in cut-off areas continued going house to house Tuesday to check on residents.

“I haven’t been able to go to day care services, which I like doing. I was happy that they visited me here,” said Toshiko Tani, 87, of Tsurugi.

She said the power was still out in her home and she was using a flashlight at night.

Municipal officials in Miyoshi, which was struck hard, said they had managed to check on an 87-year-old man who had been out of contact since Friday.

They said he lives alone and the only road to his dwelling was blocked by fallen trees. He was airlifted out by a Ground Self-Defense Force helicopter and was reportedly in good condition.

About 200 GSDF personnel on Tuesday morning continued working to clear snow and fallen trees from roads in Miyoshi and the two towns nearby. They also took food and kerosene to inhabitants.

Shikoku Electric Power Co. said about 670 households in Tokushima Prefecture were without electricity as of 11 a.m. Tuesday.

The government dispatched a team to the area led by disaster management minister Eriko Yamatani.

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