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(Update 3) Numerous Vehicles Stuck in Snow on Expressways in Central Japan

(Update 3) 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 more than 1,000 on the Hokuriku Expressway in Fukui Prefecture and about 200 on the Tokai-Hokuriku Expressway in Toyama Prefecture. Early Sunday, the Fukui and Toyama prefectural governments asked the Ground Self-Defense Forces to dispatch troops to help them deal with the situation.
   The number of stranded vehicles more than halved by Sunday evening on both expressways. The gridlock was cleared on the Tokai-Hokuriku Expressway later in the day. On the Hokuriku Expressway, however, many vehicles remained stuck, and it is unclear when the problem will be fully resolved.
   According to the Fukui government and other sources, vehicles started to get stranded on Saturday afternoon on the Hokuriku Expressway, which links Niigata Prefecture, central Japan, and Shiga Prefecture, western Japan.
   As of 9 p.m. Sunday (noon GMT), a total of some 200 vehicles remained stranded on the inbound lanes between the Kanazu and Maruoka interchanges and the outbound lanes between the Fukui and Fukui-kita 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 route and between the Takefu Interchange in Fukui and the Kaga Interchange on the outbound route.

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