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Natural disasters

Record snowfall hits western Japan, disrupting traffic

Closed expressways now open after stuck vehicles cause lengthy jams

Vehicles lie stranded on roads in the city of Hikone in western Japan due to record-breaking snowfall that hit the region on Dec. 27.   © Kyodo

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Heavy snow continued to hit areas on the Sea of Japan coast from the country's north to west on Monday, with many vehicles stranded and some cities in western Japan seeing record snowfall due to a strong winter pressure pattern.

Hikone city in Shiga Prefecture saw 68 centimeters of snow accumulate while Asago city in Hyogo Prefecture got 71 cm in a 24-hour period through early Monday, both the most ever, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

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