Japan blizzard toll rises to 8

2013-03-04 08:14
Stranded vehicles buried under snow along a road in Nakashibetsu, Hokkaido, northern Japan. (Kyodo News, AP)

Stranded vehicles buried under snow along a road in Nakashibetsu, Hokkaido, northern Japan. (Kyodo News, AP)

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Tokyo - Heavy snow that fell in northern Japan over the weekend killed eight people on Hokkaido Island, including a family whose car was buried in snow.

Kazuyo Miyashita, aged 40, her two daughters Misa, aged 17, and Sayo, aged 14, and her son Daiki, aged 11, died at a hospital Saturday night of carbon-monoxide poisoning after their vehicle got buried in the snow, according to Kyodo news service.

Separately, Haruna Kitagawa, aged 23, froze to death after leaving her car, stuck in the snow. A 53-year-old man died on Sunday after getting buried in the snow, although his 9-year-old daughter found with him was recovering, Kyodo said.

Also over the weekend, a 54-year-old man and a 76-year-old man were found collapsed in the snow in another part of Hokkaido, and both were confirmed dead, it said.

The storm caused two-meter-high drifts and was blamed for derailing a bullet train in Akita prefecture, south of Hokkaido, on Saturday afternoon.

Kyodo said the passenger train was moving slowly because of the heavy snow on the tracks, and the derailment caused no injuries.

Read more on:    japan  |  natural disasters  |  weather

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