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Heavy snow hits Japan with warns of traffic disruption

TOKYO, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) — Heavy snowfall and strong winds hit Japan on Tuesday as the country braced for a severe winter storm amid a rare cold snap.

Heavy snow hit areas along the Sea of Japan as well as in some low-lying areas on the nation’s Pacific side including Tokyo.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said temperatures are expected to drop significantly to levels seen only once in a decade, as wide areas of the country could experience heavy snowfall from Tuesday evening to Wednesday due to extremely unstable atmospheric conditions.

The weather agency has issued a warning of heavy snow in other locations and traffic disruption due to frozen roads, while local authorities warned of the threat of frozen water pipes and power outages.

Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways on Tuesday canceled more than 120 flights to and from airports facing the Sea of Japan.

In the 24 hours through 6:00 a.m. Wednesday local time, central Japan’s Hokuriku region could see up to 90 cm of snowfall, while there may be up to 70 cm in Kanto-Koshin in eastern and central Japan and the Kinki and Chugoku regions in western Japan.

Up to 60 cm of snow is expected in northeastern Tohoku and central Tokai regions, the agency said.

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