updated 2/1/2005 5:32:25 PM ET 2005-02-01T22:32:25

Severe winter storms that brought strong winds and heavy snows across Japan turned roads icy, caused a train to derail and disrupted air travel on Tuesday. Two people died in weather-related accidents while hundreds more were reported injured in car crashes.

A severe cold front this week has moved across the length of Japan from southwestern Kyushu to its northernmost tip of Hokkaido. The harsh conditions caused a train carrying 400 passengers to derail Tuesday in northern Niigata prefecture (state). No one was injured. Services on bullet trains in the western and northern regions were delayed or suspended.

More than 150 domestic flights connecting Kyushu and northern Japanese cities were canceled, affecting 8,000 people, Kyodo News reported.

In northern Yamagata prefecture, a 67-year-old man died after falling off the roof of a two-story home in Oguni while removing snow, said local police spokesman Kazunori Furusawa.

Further south in Okayama prefecture, unusually frosty weather caused roads to ice over. A car that slipped out of control killed a 59-year-old pedestrian in Soja city, police said.

Public broadcaster NHK said at least 648 people had been injured, many in road accidents.

Record snowfall reported
The cold snap had brought record snow falls to some areas, said Meteorological Agency spokesman Katsuaki Suzuki.

In Niigata prefecture — where locals are still struggling to recover from a series of typhoons and a magnitude-6.8 earthquake last year that devastated the region — 2.5 feet of snow had fallen in the past 24 hours, leaving a blanket nearly 10 feet deep in some areas, Suzuki said.

Near the western port city of Kobe, a college student crashed into a group of children on their way to elementary school after losing control of her car on a frozen road. Eight were injured, police spokesman Masahiko Furuta said.

The Meteorological Agency predicted more snowfall of up to 36 inches in the northern Hokuriku region through Wednesday morning, warning local residents of possible snowslides on mountains and accidents due to poor visibility and frozen roads.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,