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10 die in snow-related incidents over weekend

22 Comments

Ten people died in snow-related incidents on Saturday and Sunday, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Monday.

The agency said the deaths occurred in Hokkaido, the Tohoku and Hokuriku areas, parts of which have experienced between 120 cms and one meter of snow since Saturday.

In Obihiro, Hokkaido, a 78-year-old man died after he fell off his roof while removing snow, Sankei Shimbun reported. In Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, another 78-year-old man also died when he lost his footing and slipped from the roof of a shed while removing snow.

In Aga, Niigata Prefecture, a 57-year-old man was found dead after being buried by snow in front of his house. Police believe he, too, fell off the roof. An 84-year-old man in Niigata City suffered the same fate, police said. In Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture, an 87-year-old man died after an accident involving a snow blower, police said.

Meanwhile, in Himi, Toyama Prefecture, a man in his 60s was found inside his car which had become stuck in snow. The car was partially buried in snow when it was spotted by rescue workers. Another man apparently froze to death in his car which was found in a parking lot in Uchinada, Ishikawa Prefecture, police said.

Since early December, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency and local police officials have been urging residents in areas where there is heavy snow to exercise caution when clearing snow from the roof and to beware of falling snow. In order to prevent houses from collapsing under the weight of snow, many people including the elderly often use a ladder to climb up onto their roofs but lose their footing on the snowy roofs.

Police have asked people not to go up onto their roofs alone, or if they do, tie a rope around their waist and fasten it securely to a sturdy part of the roof, if they can.

© RikiWeb

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22 Comments
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Ah, the falling off the roof report. As predictable and preventable as mochi at Oshogatsu, and the water play without parents in summer.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Why do the elderly always ignore these things? Every single year

3 ( +7 / -4 )

RIP.

Its going to be mild and sunny this week, so the retirees at least among these people could just have waited. Non-icy ladders are much safer, and snow will slide off many non-flat roofs by itself when the roof warms up.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Why do the elderly always ignore these things? Every single year

The elderly male’s mind is that of a 47 year old but has a body of an 87 year old.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Heard a quiet voice outside this afternoon, went out to investigate and this wee old lady had fallen outside her front door. Picked her up, sent it her inside, and cleared her entrance way. I understand self-reliance, but I just wish these people, who are obviously rather frail would just ask for help.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Since this happens so often, how hard would it be to install heated roofs in new buildings in areas where this type of danger occurs? I guess it would be a bit expensive, but there has to be something that could be done I would think.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

There is a climate change, that normal one in winter. Don’t deny.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Please someone remind me when I'm 70+ don't climb on a snow covered roof.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Happens every year, but people are getting older.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Ah, the falling off the roof report.

People lose their lives and in typical JT commenter's fashion, we get these kind of comments. Show some respect for the recently deceased.

Just this morning of my student's that I teach had his house burn to the ground, the mother's whereabouts are unknown, the father had to be transported to the hospital. Do you want to comment on how they should have done this or that to prevent their house from burning down?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Truth is unpalatable. I sorry about the house burn down loss of life. I have fire alarms and a rope to get down from the second story. It's sad you lost a students family. This or that is preventable not now too raw, nothing anybody can say will help, grieve. It's always sad.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The elderly male’s mind is that of a 47 year old but has a body of an 87 year old

I’m not 47 yet, but even now i know climbing up onto an icy roof is not a very good idea.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

George Townes: "People lose their lives and in typical JT commenter's fashion, we get these kind of comments.... Just this morning of my student's that I teach had his house burn to the ground..."

So, you're comparing a house burning to the ground to someone KNOWINGLY climbing on a roof in dangerous conditions when EVERY YEAR they are warned not to? I would much rather people NOT climb on their rooftops in snow storms or snowy conditions and fall to their deaths, but as it is, they do, and it's entirely preventable. Hence the comment -- and you cannot deny we get it every single year.

"Do you want to comment on how they should have done this or that to prevent their house from burning down?"

What a lame deflection. Turn your faux outrage at messenger and direct it at the facts. I'll tell you what, though... if you find out your student's house burned to the ground because he or she lit a fire on their futon and poured gasoline around it then went to sleep thinking it was safe, then maybe you could, as you said, say they should not have done that. As it is, your comparison is irrelevant and insulting to your student and her family.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The snow must be removed, no?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

LIved for ten years with the Japan Alps winter snows 2-3 meters deep. It's exhausting. The best roofs are the snow roofs, high with a sharp angles so the snow just falls off.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@foreignbrotherhoodarmy

Why do the elderly always ignore these things? Every single year

Have you ever thought that everyone is not affected the same way every year? The snow is heavier in some areas and not as much in others. Some elderly people perhaps don't read or have internet in remote areas where they don't get the information. Most of the elderly that I know don't want to bother people they just want to live their simple lives out the best they can, regardless of asking for help. Yada yada yada why don't they install a system or pay some one, these elderly people are on fixed incomes. It seems like people here have all the solutions but can't seem to understand the problems. We will all get old and I am willing to bet we will make the same mistakes that we see happening today. If there was a fix we would not be reading about it as often as most people say it happen.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

kaimycahl: "Some elderly people perhaps don't read or have internet in remote areas where they don't get the information."

Come on, really? So, they need the internet to know they shouldn't climb on the roof in a snowstorm?

"Most of the elderly that I know don't want to bother people"

Their deaths don't bother people?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Why do the elderly always ignore these things? Every single year

When you live in a rickety old house with a flat roof and 6 feet of snow falls on it, you're one warm night of rain away from having your house collapse. When your nearest young relative under the age of 60 is over 200km away, you pretty much have to shovel that snow off yourself.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

tie a rope around their waist and fasten it securely to a sturdy part of the roof

Doesn't sound too expensive, so could not prefecture/municipality stomach the cost of installing it before the snowy season and train people about using it. And at the same time try to find fit people willing to do it for the unfit one with getting agreement with company/university/high school so that they can take day off for the time doing it without issue, the municipality/prefecture shouldering the wage (or part of) if need be.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

tie a rope around their waist and fasten it securely to a sturdy part of the roof

Doesn't sound like a great idea to me. I can imagine an 80 year old guy hanging by a rope around his waist 6 feet in the air after falling and the only help if an 80 year old woman in the house. I used to live in a snowy area and as kids we would jump from the roof into the snow but I guess these guys are falling 2 or 3 stories.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Reckless

tie a rope around their waist and fasten it securely to a sturdy part of the roof

Doesn't sound like a great idea to me

I can tell you, that would be impossible. Firstly when reaching the roof, there will be 50 cms+ of snow sometimes frozen. On a tile roof there are no places to secure a rope. On a metal roof there is a rail near to the apex of the roof but again covered in snow.

You might be able to secure a ladder and secure a rope to the ladder.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Reckless

you could also use a roof ladder once a section was cleared and secure a rope to that.

This video will make you happy you live in an apartment and help you where you go to live when you retire to the countryside. Go to a no snow place.

https://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/life-with-snow-clearing-a-rooftop-full-of-snow-in-the-japanese-alps

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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