Reports of traffic congestion on the Connecticut Expressway connecting Tokyo and Nicota began to emerge on Wednesday. Early Thursday morning, authorities closed the highway entrance.
Jam According to the Nippon Expressway Company (Nexo), the country’s highway operator, a car got stuck in deep snow in the middle of the highway and stopped traffic.
The central and northern regions of the country were hit by heavy snowfall that morning, disrupting traffic and causing some communities to lose power.
Traffic was built on the parked highway; At its peak on Thursday night, the congestion lasted up to 15 kilometers (about 9.3 miles), according to Nexco CNN. Some sections of the long traffic line were able to move slowly with starts and stops, but some motorists were stuck in that spot for more than 40 hours.
The jam continued until Friday; Roads from Tokyo were eventually cleared, but roads to the capital were still closed. As of noon on Friday, 1,000 more cars were stuck.
Photos of the highway show long lines of immovable cars, with many vehicles stranded in the middle of many snow-covered fields with piles of snow above and around their vehicles.
Emergency responders on Thursday received some limited relief when they sent rice balls, bread, crackers, sweets and 600 bottles of water and thousands of liters of petrol and diesel oil.
But that was not enough, and the drivers were still stuck in the cold for several hours.
On Thursday, a woman in her 30s and a man in their 60s were taken to hospital from Jam for respiratory problems and nausea, said Suyoshi Watanabe, Nigata’s crisis management officer. No serious or serious incidents have been reported so far.
Friday called for the deployment of Japanese defenses to help deliver water, food, gasoline and small toilets to people still stranded and clear the snow.
Nexco warns drivers via social media and radio to be wary of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning while waiting in their cars for hours at a time.
Prime Minister Yoshihide called on health ministers to discuss the heavy snowfall and called on local authorities to work together to restore services and help those affected.
The story was updated to reflect that the traffic jam started on Wednesday.