09:59 GMT +321 August 2019
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    New Chitose Airport. (File)

    Up to 6,000 People Forced to Spend Two Nights at Airport in Snow-Bound Hokkaido

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    Around 6,000 people were forced to stay at New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido for two nights since Thursday due to heavy snowfall and squall wind, local media reported on Saturday.

    A total of 287 flights were suspended on Friday. Bad weather caused ground transport to stop as well, with up to 262 electric trains canceling their routes. Having no means to go home or even check into a hotel, passengers were forced to spend two nights at the airport.

    On top of that, there was a shortage of warm blankets at the airport, with only 4,000 blankets available. The authorities had to turn to nearby Self-Defense Force bases for help.

    Air traffic was resumed on Saturday morning. To resume railway traffic, local authorities will need more time to clear snow from train tracks.

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