Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Where in The World Is Al Gore?

Nearly 10,000 passengers were stranded when Tokyo International airport was shut down by a snowstorm. Has anybody seen Algore lately?

A rare snowfall in Tokyo left nearly 10,000 passengers stranded overnight at Narita airport after about 50 international flights were canceled, the airport authority said Sunday.

The season's first snowfall in the greater Tokyo region measured 3.5 inches in the center of the capital on Saturday, the heaviest accumulation in eight years, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

At Narita airport, some 40 miles from downtown Tokyo, 51 international flights were cancelled as airport workers were unable to remove snow from runways quickly enough.

More than 90 other flights were delayed for a night, leaving passengers stuck in the terminal, an airport public relations official said.

"A total of 9,690 passengers were stranded overnight at the two terminals. We provided blankets and extended the time for air-conditioning and lighting to accommodate them at lobbies," the official said.

"We also opened special paid waiting lounges for free of charge."

At Tokyo's domestic Haneda airport, some 100 flights were cancelled on Saturday, disrupting the travel plans of some 14,000 passengers.

At least 125 people have suffered broken bones and other minor injuries in Tokyo after slipping in the rare snow by midday Sunday, fire officials said, while 200 others were reported hurt in nearby prefectures.

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