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Army deployed as record snowfall of 7 FEET blankets parts of Japan

Yuzawa Town is hit by heavy snowfall in Niigata Prefecture

Yuzawa Town is hit by heavy snowfall in Niigata Prefecture
Japan deployed the military on Thursday (Dec 17) to help residents trapped by record snowfall that has blanketed parts of the country, with 10,000 homes losing power in the north and west.

Prime minister Yoshihide Suga called an emergency cabinet meeting and urged the public to be cautious, as local media reported more than 1,000 cars were stranded on an expressway connecting Tokyo to Niigata in the north.

Over 72 hours, a record 2.17 metres of snow fell in Minakami, Gunma prefecture, reports said, while Yuzawa in Niigata prefecture — famous for skiing — got a record 1.8 metres of snow on Thursday morning.


Comment: Other videos: Record-breaking heavy snow up to 5 feet deep blanketing Japan


Snowflake

Pittsburgh shatters snowfall record first set in 1890

Pittsburgh snow
© Steve Mellon/Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh has broken its record of snowfall for Dec. 16, according to the National Weather Service.

NWS meteorologist Jenna Lake said at about 8 p.m. Wednesday that the city has seen about 5 inches of snow so far, shattering the 1.9 inch record set on this day in 1890.

The area surrounding Pittsburgh has seen a few inches more, about 7 to 7.5 inches, because the city tends to be warmer, Ms. Lake said.

Ms. Lake also said that an additional 1-2 inches is expected from 8 p.m. until about midnight.


Arrow Down

Helicopter footage shows huge landslide on British Columbia's central coast

landslide
Video shot from a helicopter Sunday shows a huge landslide in a remote area of B.C. north of Powell River.

Staff at 49 North Helicopters, located in Campbell River on Vancouver Island, said they heard about an "unusual amount of wood" floating in Bute Inlet on the weekend.

They decided to fly up the inlet, on B.C.'s central coast, to the Southgate River where they filmed miles and miles of water, mud and floating debris.

Brent Ward, from the Department of Earth Sciences and a member of the Centre for National Hazards Research at Simon Fraser University, said it appears to have been a glacial lake outburst flood that occurred at Elliot Creek just east of the head of Bute Inlet.


Comment: See also: Landslide induced mega-tsunami 'could happen at anytime' at Alaska's Barry Glacier


Snowflake Cold

Bad weather leaves 234 towns and villages without electricity in 3 regions of Ukraine

snow
Adverse weather conditions have left 120 towns and villages in Chernihiv region without electricity, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine reports.

"As of 7 a.m. on December 16, bad weather conditions (wet snow, wind gusts) on December 15 into December 16 caused blackouts in 120 populated areas, reads the report.

Emergency teams of regional power distribution companies have started to conduct needed repairs to resume electricity supply.

As reported on December 15, bad weather left 234 towns and villages in 3 regions of Ukraine without electricity: Chernihiv region 204, Sumy region 23, and Kyiv region 7.

Comment: View also: Extremely icy conditions hit the city Kharkov, Ukraine


Cloud Precipitation

Severe thunderstorm warning across Sydney as flash floods hit New South Wales, Australia

Holiday meccas like the Sunshine Coast, Byron Bay and the New South Wales north coast have been washed out (pictured, Byron Bay on Tuesday)

Holiday meccas like the Sunshine Coast, Byron Bay and the New South Wales north coast have been washed out (pictured, Byron Bay on Tuesday)
A severe thunderstorm warning is in place across Sydney, as towns up north were lashed by torrential rain and flash flooding within a matter of hours.


Attention

Woman trampled to death by elephant in Tamil Nadu, India - 5th for district in a week

Charging elephant
© Getty
Charging elephant
An Irula tribal woman was trampled to death by an elephant in a reserve forest of Segur range falling under the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) - buffer zone in the Nilgiris on Tuesday.

M Sarasu, 65, a resident of Anaikatty village in the range, went to the forest around 1pm to collect fodder for cattle, a forest official said. Sarasu, who was accompanied by her son Balan, 42, and her sister Mathi, 55, encountered an elephant and its calf when she was some 3km away from her home.

"The elephant charged at them. While Balan and Mathi managed to escape, Sarasu was attacked by the elephant. She died on the spot," said L C S Srikanth, deputy director, MTR-buffer zone.

Police retrieved the body and sent it to the Ooty government hospital. The postmortem will be conducted on Wednesday as the body reached the hospital late in the evening.

Comment: Another woman was killed by an elephant in the state of Odisha on the same day.


Windsock

Destructive hurricane force winds causes severe damage to houses and streets in Yacuiba, Bolivia

windy
Hurricane force winds caused severe damage to houses and streets in Yacuiba, Bolivia.


Snowflake

Record-breaking heavy snow up to 5 feet deep blanketing Japan

snow
Heavy snow is continuing to hit areas of northern Japan.

As of 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, snow accumulation reached 126 centimeters in Nishiwaga Town, the inland, mountainous area of Iwate Prefecture. That's more than four times the usual snowfall at this time of year.

Police of neighboring Akita Prefecture said 30 vehicles were backed up on a highway near the prefectural border after 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday, due to a trailer stuck in the snow.

A 15-kilometer-long section of the highway was closed for about four hours to clear the vehicles. The road reopened at 5:30 a.m.


Comment: Another report from the same website 2 hours earlier:
More snow forecast for Sea of Japan coast

The season's most powerful cold air mass over Japan is bringing heavy snow to areas on the Sea of Japan coast from Hokkaido in the north and to the Chugoku region in the southwest. Weather officials are calling for caution against avalanches, icy roads, and traffic disruptions.

Snowfall in the 24 hours to Wednesday morning was 128 centimeters in Minakami Town in Gunma Prefecture, and 113 centimeters in Yuzawa Town in Niigata Prefecture -- both the heaviest 24-hour snowfalls on record.

Officials forecast that snowfall in the 24 hours until Thursday morning will be up to 100 centimeters in Niigata Prefecture, and 80 centimeters in the northern Kanto region.

They also expect 70 centimeters of snow on the Sea of Japan coast of Tohoku, as well as in the Hokuriku region, Nagano Prefecture and the northern Kansai region.

Officials are warning of traffic disruptions as well as avalanches and snow accumulation leading to downed power lines and trees.
On social media:

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Seismograph

Shallow M6.2 earthquake hits south of Sarangani, Philippines

Philippines earthquake map
Date & time: Tue, 15 Dec 23:21 UTC
Magnitude: 6.2
Depth: 10.0 km
Epicenter latitude / longitude: 5.23°N / 125.48°E
Primary data source: GFZ

Snowflake

210 roads in Himachal Pradesh, India closed for traffic due to snowfall

snow
As many as 210 roads have been closed for vehicular movement after many areas in Himachal Pradesh witnessed snowfall, officials said on Sunday.

As many as 140 roads are closed in Lahaul-Spiti, 28 in Kullu, 24 in Shimla, eight in Kinnaur, four in Chamba and two in Mandi.

Atal Tunnel in Rohtang also remains closed for vehicular traffic as light snowfall continued in higher reaches of the state overnight. Keylong received 10cm snowfall, Kalpa in Kinnaur district received 4.5cm, and Manali 2cm.

Kullu superintendent of police (SP) Gaurav Singh said Leh-Manali national highway is closed beyond Palchan and Solang and NH-305 (Aut-Ani-Sainj) is also closed for traffic due to fresh snowfall in Jalori pass. He advised people to avoid travelling to these areas until the roads get cleared.