KUSHIRO SHIMBUN/AFP/Getty Images
In some locations across Hokkaido snow was reported to being up to 5 metres high.
Unable to leave their vehicles, travellers have been stranded on the highways. Poisonous carbon monoxide from running engines have killed several families this weekend.
While heavy snow is common for Hokkaido, this winter has been
unprecedented with strong storms being weekly occurrences over northern
A very difficult task, but when a car is empty after these severe
conditions have occurred, a search for the passengers then begins.
Hypothermia is being blamed on many of the deaths.
This bullet train derailed on Saturday evening on the Akita Shinkansen Line because of bad weather. Luckily no one was inured.
A much slowed down voyage, because of the deep snow on the tracks, saved hundreds of life.
JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images
Railway workers and investigators inspect the bullet train the morning after it derailed in Daisen, Akita prefecture. The train has had an extremely safe record since 1964.