China’s government-run Xinhua news agency reported this weekend that a group of Japanese visitors to the Great Wall of China got caught in a sudden blizzard, resulting in the death of two women and a man to go missing. The identities haven’t been revealed yet, but the Japanese Embassy in Beijing was notified about the deaths and unaccounted by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, who added that one person was alive after rescue.
The group of five people, made up of four Japanese and one Chinese tour guide, departed from Beijing on Saturday, but got cut off by the heavy snow in Hebei Province and were stranded near the Great Wall. The Japanese woman who was rescued is 59 years old and the tour guide is 25 year old man. The two women who perished were 68 and 62 years old, while the man who went missing is 76. Rescue efforts are still ongoing, however they are hampered by the continued snowfall.
Sunday’s blizzard was the first snow of the season for Beijing, with residents in the western areas saying it quickly reached knee-high depths. China’s National Meteorological Center says heavy snow is expected to continue for several days, and while rescue workers try to clear roads, the authorities warn this is the second-highest blizzard alert its issued.