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Heavy Snow Hits Central Western Japan

Weather officials are warning of Heavy Snow in areas along the Sea of Japan and urging people to refrain from non-essential outings. The Japan Meteorological Agency says a severe cold air mass flows over the country, bringing strong winds and snow.

Officials say snowfall intensifies on Sunday, especially in a wide area from northern to western parts of Japan. The cold air mass will likely move to the Pacific side of western Japan. It could bring snow to urban areas of the Kansai and Tokai regions, as well as the flatlands of the Shikoku and Kyushu regions.

Winds are also expected to intensify across wide areas.The Meteorological Agency is warning that Heavy Snow could disrupt traffic and trigger avalanches. It also says snow accumulating on power cables could cause blackouts.The rough weather has affected public transportation.

More than 100 domestic flights have been canceled. Some railway services are suspended. Worldwide, thousands of flights have been cancelled over the Christmas weekend because of the rapid spread of the new Omicron coronavirus variant.Japan, which tightened border controls to counter the threat from Omicron, has reported only about a dozen cases of community spread of the new variant and 231 total Omicron infections, including overseas arrivals.

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