Heavy snowfall in northern Japan and other parts of the country killed at least 17 people and injured more than 90 over the Christmas weekend, authorities said.
An official from Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency said a woman in her 70s died after being buried under snow that fell from a roof in the prefecture’s Nagai city of Yamagata, where more than 80 centimeters (2.6 feet) of snow had accumulated Saturday.
Parts of Japan, mainly along the west coast, have been hit hard by heavy snow from powerful winter fronts, weather officials said, stranding vehicles on roads and delaying delivery services since mid- december
The Japan Meteorological Agency said last week that snowfall in some parts had accumulated to levels well above average.
Japan has experienced increasingly adverse weather conditions in recent years. Its climate is predominantly temperate but varies greatly from north to south.
December saw severe snowstorms in northeastern regions such as Hokkaido, while parts of the south were hit by heavy rains from a powerful typhoon in September.
And in June, Tokyo experienced a heat wave that saw temperatures surpass a record 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).