Heavy snowfall leaves a large number of vehicles stranded on the Shin-Meishin Expressway near the prefectural border between Shiga and Mie on Jan. 25. (Video by Asahi Television Broadcasting Corp.)

Heavy snowfall that swept through the mountainous areas of Mie Prefecture has trapped scores of drivers in a massive traffic jam straddling two prefectures.

It forced two stretches of road on the expressway to close at 3:50 a.m. on Jan. 25: the section from the Yokkaichi Junction to the Kameyama-nishi Junction on the Shin-Meishin Expressway, both to and from Kobe, and the section from the Kameyama Junction to the Koka-Tsuchiyama Interchange on the lanes bound for Kobe.

By noon on Jan. 25, a roughly 30-kilometer traffic jam had formed, stretching from the Komono Interchange in Mie Prefecture to the Koka-Tsuchiyama Interchange in Shiga Prefecture.

Many vehicles, including large trucks, remain stuck in these sections, according to Central Nippon Expressway Co.

Officials from the company are providing relief supplies, such as food, water and portable toilets, to the drivers and passengers stuck there.