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Hokkaido blizzards injure student, isolate Shiretoko Peninsula sightseeing area

Pedestrians walk amid heavy snow in Sapporo's Chuo Ward on March 1, 2018. (Mainichi)

SAPPORO -- Blizzards struck many areas of Hokkaido on March 1 due to a rapidly developed low pressure system, causing a bus accident that injured one student and temporarily isolating people at a sightseeing district on the Shiretoko Peninsula.

    In the town of Shari, a sightseeing bus carrying about 40 students from Osaka High School in Osaka's Higashiyodogawa Ward veered off National Route 334 and became stuck at around 6 p.m. on March 1. A 16-year-old male student suffered a light chest injury in the accident and was taken to a hospital. The other students boarded another bus that arrived to pick them up and were taken to their hotel in the Utoro district, a sightseeing base on the Shiretoko Peninsula.

    The same day, blizzard conditions forced the temporary closure of the road leading to the Utoro district, isolating tourists and about 1,150 residents.

    The Japan Meteorological Agency's Sapporo Regional Headquarters is warning of possible traffic disturbances as strong winds and heavy snow are expected to continue on March 2.

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