1,000 people stuck overnight in Japan traffic jam stretching 9 miles long

东京 多于 1,000 people in Japan spent Thursday night stuck on a highway in their cars, waiting out a traffic jam with little food or water during a heavy snowstorm.

The traffic jam, on the Kanetsu Expressway connecting Tokyo and Niigata prefectures, began Thursday morning after a car got stuck in deep snow in the middle of the highway, grinding traffic to a halt, according to the Nippon Expressway Company (NEXCO), the country’s highway operator.
The country’s central and northern regions had been hit with heavy snowfall that morning, disrupting transit and causing some communities to lose power.
Traffic on the highway stayed halted for the rest of the day. At its peak on Thursday night, the jam stretched to 15 公里 (关于 9.3 英里), NEXCO told CNN. The jam continued through Friday; the lanes coming from Tokyo eventually cleared out, but the lanes heading into the capital were still halted. As of noon on Friday, there were still 1,000 cars stuck.
    Hundreds of vehicles stranded due to heavy snow on the Kanetsu Expressway on December 17.

    Photos of the highway show the long lines of unmoving cars, many with piles of snow on top of and around their vehicles, stranded amid snow-covered fields.
    Some limited relief came earlier on Thursday when emergency responders passed out rice balls, bread, crackers, sweet snacks, 和 600 bottles of water, as well as thousands of liters of gasoline and diesel oil.
    But it wasn’t enough, with drivers stuck for many more hours in the cold.
    The snow was extremely heavy. As time went by, the cars got buried. I was really scared,” one unnamed driver told Japanese public broadcaster NHK. “I’ve eaten all of my food and drinks. 现在, to drink water, I have to melt snow I collect in a plastic bottle.
    Japan Self-Defense Forces personnel prepare food and water for people stuck on Kanetsu expressway on December 17.

    A woman in her 30s and a man in his 60s were taken from the jam to hospital for respiratory problems and nausea on Thursday, according to Niigata’s crisis management officer, Tsuyoshi Watanabe. No fatal or serious incidents have been reported so far.
    Watanabe added that the prefecture has asked for the Japan Self-Defense Forces to be dispatched to provide water, 餐饮, gasoline and portable toilets for the people still stuck on Friday, and to help clear away the snow.
      NEXCO is also warning drivers, through social media and over the radio, to be careful of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning while waiting in their cars for hours at a time.
      Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has met with ministers to discuss the heavy snowfall, calling on local officials to work together to restore services and help those affected, NHK reported.

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