Snow in Japan causes deaths, disrupts traffic

TOKYO — The second heavy snowfall in a week to hit Japan killed up to a dozen people and injured hundreds over the weekend, while paralyzing traffic and causing power outages.

In Yamanashi, in central Japan, a record 114 centimeters (45 inches) of snow fell. About 27 centimeters (10 inches) of snow was enough to paralyze Tokyo, which usually sees only a few light dustings each winter.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said Sunday that the low pressure system was traveling north, dumping more snow after passing the Tokyo region.

Media reports said as many as 12 people died and 1,500 were injured nationwide since Friday in snow-related accidents.

The roof of a shopping arcade collapsed in a Tokyo suburb, and two trains collided on slick tracks in nearby Kawasaki. Nearly 20,000 homes lost electricity.

Hundreds of flights and trains were halted. Thousands of drivers and passengers were trapped for nearly a day in traffic jams on highways, prompting transportation officials to deliver food and portable toilets.

The Tokyo area was hit by a heavy snowfall last weekend, stalling trains and grounding flights.

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