Jan 11, 2021 10:22 UTC

A historic heavy snowfall hit Japan's northern prefectures, stranding hundreds of cars, Japan's public broadcaster NHK reported on Sunday.

According to NHK, more than 1000 vehicles were stuck at its peak on a motorway running through the county's northern prefectures including Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui and Shiga. There were about 420 cars and trucks still stranded as of 07:00 GMT. Japan's Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) are deployed to help the drivers.

Handout photos from Japan's Ministry of Defense showed members of JSDF walking in line alongside stranded trucks, digging through snow to clear the way.

Heavy snowfalls are endemic in Northern part of the country, especially those prefectures facing the Sea of Japan, but most of the observation points in these prefectures seeing more than twice the amount of snowfall compared to its average. And Toyama city saw a new record 88 centimeters of snow fell within 48 hours, NHK reported.