İrem UZUN -TDO- More than 130 cars were involved in a series of crashes in Japan on Tuesday when a snowstorm struck a stretch of motorway. One person has died and at least 17 people have been injured in the chaos on Tohoku Expressway in Osaki city in the northern prefecture of Miyagi, officials said.

The storm blanketed a stretch of the Expressway at around noon on Tuesday. Rescue teams are working to free over 200 passengers on a 900-metre stretch of motorway who are said to be stuck in their cars. Expressway operators have said that there is near-zero visibility. Japan has been hit by severe snow storms in recent weeks with some parts of the country seeing double the average expected snowfall. Images from the expressway show the sheer scale of the pile-up. Those who were involved have been given drinking water and food, and have been provided with blankets to keep warm.

The Japan Meteorological Agency warned the cold weather would continue, with strong winds and snowstorms expected. Up to 50 centimetres of snow was forecast for the country’s north by early Wednesday, January 20. 

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