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Sixteen have been killed in “snow related incidents”, while thousands are stranded in Tokyo and surrounding area.
Last updated: 17 Feb 2014 11:50
Transport difficulties have left stores and supermarkets empty in many of the affected regions [AFP]
|Thousands of residents in villages and towns across Japan remain stranded three days after a snowstorm, despite the military intervening to help with the clean-up.
Japanese media reported that 16 people were killed in “snow related incidents” across seven prefectures affected by the weather and thousands have been injured.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a parliamentary session on Monday: “Thanks to the weekend’s snow in Yamanashi and Nagano prefecture, some areas have received the highest levels of snow ever recorded. Due to such things as having their roofs collapse, a large number of people have lost their lives.
“We will continue to work closely with appropriate agencies and organizations to protect citizen’s and do everything in our power,” he added.
A snow storm hit Tokyo and the outlying prefectures last Friday. Parts of Yamanashi prefecture, west of Tokyo, saw more than a 1.1m of snow, the most the area has seen since records began in 1894.
The blizzard left cars on the highway stranded and, in some cases, entire villages cut off from transport as snow covered roads.
With hundreds stuck in their vehicles, some towns opened up public buildings and provided free food and warmth, especially to drivers running out of fuel. With stalled cars adding to the difficulties of the cleanup, many prefectures have asked for military help in digging up the roads.
The snow has meant that the transport of goods as well as people has been cut off, leaving supermarkets and convenience stores empty in many parts of the affected regions.
Japanese car makers, including Toyota and Honda, were forced to suspend operations after the heavy snow disrupted their supply chains and prevented workers from commuting.
February 12th, 2014
Every year somewhere in our country tens of thousands of Americans experience an emergency resulting from any number of scenarios that may include natural disasters, economic hardship or other unexpected circumstances. And every year we watch with amazement as those in areas that have been affected by snow storms, hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes lose everything and have no backup plan to deal with the crisis.
The thin veneer of our civilization should be apparent to everyone, yet it seems that no one really gets it.
Despite warnings from FEMA, as well as the prevalence of popular preparedness TV shows, Americans still don’t seem to understand how susceptible we are to a complete destabilization of life as we know it. It boggles the mind that most people seem to think that when disasters strikes they’ll be able to depend on someone elseto provide them with assistance.
Recent disasters, especially those here in the United States, are often limited to a particular city or region, so emergency service personal are often able to get things under control within a week or two. But events like Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Hurricane Sandy on the east coast, and the recent chemical spill in West Virgina often only affect a small percentage of our domestic population.
But what if the next disaster comes in the form of an earthquake on the New Madrid fault line? Or what if the sun unleashes a solar flare powerful enough to take down our electrical grid? Or what if a rogue terror organization were to detonate a nuclear weapon or dirty bomb over U.S. soil?
All of these scenarios would have an immediate and lasting impact on not tens of thousands of people, but millions.
What would it look like in America on that particular day?
If this week’s snow storm east of the Mississippi is any indication, then we can expect widespread pandemonium and panic:
Atlanta residents ransacked neighborhood grocery stores in frantic preparation for their second major snowstorm of the year, waging fights over food items and leaving destruction and empty shelves in their wake, a stunning precursor to what will ensue once a major crisis impacts the U.S.
After three inches of snow shut the city down two weeks ago, causing major havoc and leaving miles of cars stranded on immobile roadways, the residents of Atlanta took heed and shopped early.
According to people who Tweeted photos of barren store shelves, residents went crazy over essentials like milk, bread, water and eggs, and in some cases “people were fighting. Yes fighting,” alleges one user.
Given Americans’ propensity to riot over such inanities as Black Friday sales and winning sports teams, could fights and empty shelves also be expected in the midst of a major crisis?
The pictures and real-time commentary below demonstrate exactly why “preppers” do what they do, despite being ridiculed and laughed at by the myrmidons of the mainstream.
(Pictures courtesy of Adan Salazar & Kit Daniels of Infowars)
— Muhammad Tipu N (@mrautoclutch20) February 11, 2014
— AmFam_Louis4 (@AmFam_Louis4) February 11, 2014
— D.J Jammison (@LordDerrick) February 11, 2014
If a transient winter storm for which we had ample advance warning leads to panic buying, empty store shelves and brawls, then what do you think is going to happen in a worst case scenario?
It’ll start just like Atlanta, with people in panic mode looking for food, water andessential supplies. Once the food runs out, so will patience. Chances are that emergency responders will be overwhelmed or they’ll be taking care of their own families, so calls for help will go unanswered. Government will either be too slow to respond or they won’t show up at all:
“What people have got to know is that they’re on their own, literally on their own,” he said.
Experts say people should be prepared to look after themselves for at least three days after any major disaster.
But Mr Winter says most people have no plans in place.
“If we turn off power and water, how long will you be able to survive?” he said.
“When we put to people, ‘Can you survive for 72 hours without external help?’, the reaction is their jaw drops.”
Three days, maybe less, as we saw in West Virginia last month:
Lesson #1: There will be immediate panic
That’s when the situation goes critical.
The looting and violence will begin. First they’ll target businesses likely grocery stores, warehouses, and restaurants. When those are picked clean, they’ll go door-to-door.
Will you be ready? Because they won’t be knocking.
Winter Storm ‘Pax’ has already crippled much of the South, snarling traffic and dumping more snow than most can remember on places that are unarguably ill-prepared to cope. But, as The Weather Channel warns, up to 18 more inches of snow is forecast for the Northeast as Pax pushes up the East Coast. With no thaw expected in the South until at least the weekend (and freezing winds causing havoc), forecasters expect more power outages. Trouble has already started though further North with DC over 13 inches of snow and NYC having over 7 inches this morning alone. It’s not everyday that snow is falling in Atlanta and Boston at the same time! 585,000 households are without power in 7 states this morning. Flight cancellations have begun from DC to NYC building on the4,000 that were cancelled yesterday.
Snowing from Atlanta to Boston
Near Blizzard conditions in Manhattan/NYC:
Chaos on the roads…
Total Freeway gridlock…
And now it is heading North… with up to 18 inches of snow forecast for the NorthEast
In the last few hours, NYC alone has received 7 inches of snow and over 13 inches of snow in DC…
Though further west is getting more…
New York City’s Central Park has record 5 inches of snow in the last 2 hours…
As a reminder, here is how Weather.com described Pax yesterday:
“Sometimes we want to tell them, ‘Hey, listen, this warning is different. This is really extremely dangerous, and it doesn’t happen very often,'” Jacks said.
The service’s memo early Wednesday called the storm “an event of historical proportions.”
It continues: “Catastrophic … crippling … paralyzing … choose your adjective.”
And power outages in the south are likely to surge…
— NWS Atlanta (@NWSAtlanta) February 13, 2014
We suspect the image of weathermen with hands on their faces will be more prevalent today…
As this is coming…
Severe weather kills seven people, injures 1,000 and leaves tens of thousands without electricity.
Last updated: 09 Feb 2014 07:00
Further snowfall is expected on Sunday in the northern part of the country [AP]
|At least seven people have been killed and 1,000 injured as parts of Japan suffered their worst snowfall in decades.Many of the deaths and injuries were caused by snow-linked accidents and car crashes, according to state televiasion channel NFK and the AFP news agency.
As much as 27cm of snow was recorded in Tokyo by late Saturday, the heaviest fall in the capital for 45 years, according to meteorologists.
The northeastern city of Sendai recorded 35cm of snow, the heaviest in 78 years.
Further snowfall is expected on Sunday in the northern part of the country, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
More than 20,000 households are without electricity on Sunday, while airlines have cancelled nearly 300 domestic flights a day, AFP reported.
Nearly 5,000 people were stranded at Narita airport on Saturday as traffic linking the airport to the capital was disrupted, NHK said.
In central Aichi prefecture, a 50-year-old man died after his car slipped on the icy road and rammed into an advertisement steel pole, a local rescuer said.