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Numerous Vehicles Stuck in Snow on Expressways in Central Japan

Numerous Vehicles Stuck in Snow on Expressways in Central Japan

   Tokyo, Jan. 10 (Jiji Press)--Heavy snow that hit the Hokuriku central Japan region has forced numerous vehicles to be stranded on expressways.
   As of Sunday morning, the number of automobiles stuck in the snow stood at some 1,000 on the Hokuriku Expressway in Fukui Prefecture and about 200 on the Tokai-Hokuriku Expressway in Toyama Prefecture. At 4 a.m. Sunday, (7 p.m. Saturday GMT), the Fukui and Toyama prefectural governments asked the Self-Defense Forces to dispatch troops to help them deal with the situation. But it remains unclear when the problems will be cleared.
   According to the Fukui government and other sources, vehicles started to be stranded on Saturday afternoon on the Hokuriku Expressway, which links Niigata Prefecture, central Japan, and Shiga Prefecture, western Japan. As of 9 a.m. Sunday, about 280 vehicles were stuck on the inbound lanes between the Kanazu and Fukui-kita interchanges and some 740 vehicles on the outbound lanes between the Fukui and Maruoka interchanges.
   The expressway has been closed to traffic on the sections between the Kaga Interchange in Ishikawa Prefecture, which is located between Fukui and Toyama, and the Fukui Interchange on the inbound lanes and between the Takefu Interchange in Fukui and the Kaga Interchange on the outbound lanes.
   Some 200 SDF troops and others are working to remove stalled vehicles and distribute food and fuel to affected people. No one has been reported to be sick, according to sources. The Fukui prefectural government is calling on residents to avoid going out in vehicles for nonessential purposes.

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