• Kyodo

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More than 200 people in Tokyo were sent to hospitals on Thursday and Friday after slipping and falling due to ice and snow on the streets as the capital saw its first heavy snowfall in four years, authorities said.

Central Tokyo had 10 centimeters of snow by Thursday evening, with traffic remaining disrupted on Friday. The mercury dropped to minus 3.5 Celsius in central areas of the capital on Friday morning, 1.8 C lower than the previous day.

A total of 215 people between ages 9 and 97 were taken to hospitals in the capital after falling, according to the Tokyo Fire Department. Police said 77 traffic accidents resulting in injuries had occurred in the capital due to the snow as of Friday morning.

An expressway serving the greater Tokyo area was partially closed and nine flights operated by All Nippon Airways departing from or arriving at Tokyo's Haneda Airport were canceled.

On the Metropolitan Expressway, the snowfall left up to 100 vehicles stuck on the Tokyo Gate Bridge at one point. The Rainbow Bridge, a major tourist attraction in the capital, remained closed Friday morning.

In neighboring Saitama Prefecture, four men sustained minor injuries Friday morning in an accident involving five trucks in Kasukabe, local police said, adding they suspect it was caused by icy roads.

In Ibaraki Prefecture, 346 traffic accidents had occurred as of Friday morning due to snow and ice on the roads, police said.

Near Shimbashi Station, a major transportation hub in the capital, many commuters were cautiously walking on icy roads.

"It was difficult to walk because roads around my house were frozen too. I wish I could have teleworked today," said Namiki Kasahara, a 29-year-old resident of Nishitokyo.

"It took longer than usual to commute because my bus was late," said a 43-year-old man from Yokohama.

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