At least eight people have died and around 140 are injured due to a winter storm battering the regions of Niigata, Ishikawa, Fukui and Toyama in Japan on 10 January. Due to the heavy snowfall, traffic came to a standstill in the cities of Sakai and Nanto, with around 1,000 vehicles trapped on a snowy highway. Local media reports that many of those who died where trying to clear the snowfall.
Kyodo News agency has since reported that the stranded vehicles are all now cleared, but it has been reported that many homes are now left without power.
BBC News reports that part of the northern and central regions of Japan have seen record snowfall, with double to triple the average amount expected at this time of year. Indeed, the city of Joetsu has reported around 180 centimetres of snow since 7 January.
Similar chaos erupted in Spain over the weekend, when the worst winter storm to hit Spain overwhelmed Madrid, leaving motorists trapped and train and flight services cancelled.