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Heavy snow in the Tokyo area knocks out power to homes and disrupts travel

TOKYO (AP) — Heavy snow hit the Tokyo area on Monday, disrupting trains and grounding more than 100 flights, with transport officials cautioning drivers to avoid nonessential travel.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the snowfall was expected to peak Monday night, with up to 55 centimeters (21 inches) predicted in mountainous areas north of Tokyo.

The snowfall was much less in central Tokyo, where more than 1 centimeter (0.4 inch) was reported for the first time in two years, Kyodo News said.

About 40 people received minor injuries from slipping in the snow, NHK public television reported.

Some train services were limited in the Tokyo region and highways were partially closed, including the Tomei and Metropolitan Expressways.

About 550 passengers on two Yurikamome automated trains that got stuck between stations had to walk to the next stop, NHK reported.

More than 100 domestic and several international flights in and out of Tokyo’s Haneda airport were canceled as of Monday afternoon, according to the airport.

More than 14,000 homes in Tokyo and five nearby prefectures were out of power, presumably due to the snow, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism urged drivers to avoid nonessential trips and use winter tires or tire chains.


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