by KHALANI GARAY
Tragedy struck Monday, March 27, 2017, at a Japanese ski resort. A total of seven high school students and one teacher was killed after being caught in an avalanche. Poor weather conditions hampered rescue efforts by crews originally as they failed to reach the Nasu Onsen Family Ski Area, a small ski slope on the side of Mount Nasu in Tochigi Prefecture, about 200 kilometers north of Tokyo.
The students were a part of a mountaineering club and had been taking part in a climbing event when the avalanche occurred. In total, sixty-two teachers and students were participating in the lesson and forty-eight of them were in the area when the avalanche happened. Forty people were hurt as well, two sustaining serious injuries. Thirty-two students and teachers were able to get down the slope safely.
Over a foot of snow fell in the Nasu highlands region between Sunday night and Monday morning, according to data supplied by the Japan Meteorological Agency. They had issued an avalanche advisory for the region as well. Snow showers are expected to continue through Monday and into Tuesday as well. Police had initially reported that there were eight students feared dead, but they have since revised their estimate.