TOKYO : Seven people died after being hit by an avalanche on Saturday on a mountain in Japan’s central Toyama prefecture, local police said. The seven - four men and three women- were climbing or skiing when the avalanche, an estimated 30 metres (98 feet) wide and 600 metres long, hit on a western slope of the 2,860-metre-high Mt Masago, police said. They were taken to hospital by helicopter but were confirmed dead, police said. A local police officer said rescuers were continuing the search as it was not clear if there were any other people on the mountain at the time of the avalanche.