It was a trying time for drivers in Japan when there was unprecedented snowfall. The result was a nearly 9.3-mile-long traffic jam. It happened on the Kanetsu Expressway between Tokyo and Niigata, and the 40-hour traffic jam forced more than 1000 drivers to remain stuck in their vehicles. The authorities blocked the road entrance, but there were already different types of vehicles, and the drivers had no other alternative but to sleep with snow all around them. It was a miserable condition because they were not only caught unawares but had to go without food or water.

Japan's highway operator NEXCO explained that the situation arose when a car was stuck in the middle of the road. The driver tried to free it, but the heavy snowfall posed a major obstacle. It gave rise to a panic situation, especially with the non-availability of food or drinks. These are rare happenings, and those who face them have to bear the torture.

Daily Mail UK says the vehicle line was nearly 9.3 miles long, and while a few drivers crawled some distance, the majority remained stuck for more than 40 hours. Traffic coming from Tokyo became normal after some time but not the one proceeding to the capital. The climatic condition was to blame.

Japan deployed the military to help residents

Self-Defence Force troops were brought into action to clear the snow and extend humanitarian aid in food, petrol, and blankets to residents. An official said – "The government will do its utmost to rescue anyone who is stuck in their vehicle." Fire service crews were able to rescue some drivers.

Three of them needed hospitalization. Highway workers concentrated on clearing hard-hit areas where the snow was to a depth of several feet. Daily Mail UK adds forecast of the Meteorological Agency is for heavy snowfall along the Sea of Japan coast. Some places already experienced around 32 inches of snowfall, and the authorities deployed the military to extend help to trapped residents.

Moreover, some areas had to battle the loss of power. The use of renewable energy could have helped overcome these problems.

The Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan canceled

In view of the heavy snowfall, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga convened an emergency cabinet meeting. His message to the people was to be cautious. Moreover, there is a spike in coronavirus cases accompanying this cold snap. Daily Mail UK mentions this is the third wave of infections, and the prime minister advised people to avoid Travel. This is important since the disease is contagious, and doctors recommend giving a wide berth to crowded places to prevent infection. The spike has also led to the first-ever cancellation of the Sapporo Snow Festival.

This displays intricate ice sculptures and attracts thousands every year. In March, Japan had canceled its major cherry blossom festival due to coronavirus. It meant the loss of tourist revenue.

Japan tried its best to remove the stuck vehicles

According to The BBC, the officials said rescue teams used a combination of heavy machinery and physical labor to dig out the vehicles. However, many of them remained stranded on the road. The authorities arranged to distribute food, fuel, and blankets to the expressway drivers that connect Tokyo to Niigata. There was another similar traffic jam on nearby Joshinetsu Expressway. The number of vehicles stranded there was around 300. The Met Department cautioned about possibilities of more intense cold spells that could continue through the weekend.

The snowstorm comes at a time when Japan is facing a third wave of coronavirus. It has stretched the resources to the maximum and put extra pressure on the country's medical setup. Incidentally, in October 2019, a typhoon struck Japan and affected some Rugby World Cup matches.