Heavy snowfall has killed 17 people in large parts of Japan. Besides, more than 90 people were injured. Hundreds of homes were also left without power, disaster management officials said.

Strong winter fronts have dumped heavy snow on northern regions since last week, stranding hundreds of vehicles on highways, delaying delivery services and causing 11 deaths by Saturday, The Guardian reports.

More snow over the Christmas weekend brought the death toll to 17 and injured 93 by Monday morning, the disaster management agency said.

Many of the casualties fell while removing snow from roofs or were buried under thick piles of snow that slid off roofs.

Municipal offices urge residents to exercise caution when removing snow and not to work alone.

A 70-year-old woman from Nagai, Yamagata Prefecture, about 300 kilometers north of Tokyo, was found dead after a sheet of ice fell from her roof, the disaster management agency said. More than 80 cm of snow accumulated at the scene.

Many parts of northeastern Japan recorded three times their average snowfall for the season.

Heavy snowfall downed an electric power transmission tower on Japan’s northernmost main island. As a result, nearly 20,000 homes were without power on Christmas morning. However, power was restored to most areas later that day, according to the Ministry of Economy and Industry.

Dozens of trains and flights were suspended in northern Japan as of Sunday, but services had mostly resumed, the transport ministry said.

(Dhaka Times / 26 December / SAT)