Frigid weather has gripped Japan's northern main island of Hokkaido, sending temperatures plunging well below subzero levels.
Local weather observatories say a record cold air mass with temperatures below minus 24 degrees Celsius is hovering about 1,500 meters above Hokkaido.
By 6 AM on Friday, the thermometer had hit minus 18.1 degrees in Rikubetsu Town, minus 16.4 degrees in Engaru Town and minus 11.4 degrees in Sapporo City.
Weather observatories say temperatures are likely to stay at around minus 10 degrees in many parts of the prefecture even during the day.
With the frigid weather set to continue for about a week, the authorities are warning people to be careful outside and take precautions against frozen water pipes.