Over 220 flights connecting Hokkaido to other parts of Japan were canceled Saturday after the country’s northernmost main island was hit by another day of heavy snow.

The cancellations at New Chitose airport, the region’s main air gateway, were equivalent to 60 percent of flights arriving or departing at the airport in a day, according to its operator.

Runways were closed for around three hours after noon for snow removal, causing three flights from Narita airport near Tokyo to turn back, according to the flights’ operators Jetstar Japan Co. and Peach Aviation Ltd.

Around 130 trains, including a rapid service linking Sapporo with New Chitose airport, were also canceled.

In western Japan, 25 people were forced to spend the night on board a train due to fallen trees left from the previous day, West Japan Railway Co. said.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the cold snap is expected to gradually ease over Saturday night, but heavy snowfall is forecasted to continue in some areas across northern to eastern Japan through Sunday.

Source : Kyodo

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