Monday, November 23, 2015

Snowstorms cause chaos in N. China

Snowstorms swept across a vast area of north China yesterday, disrupting traffic, grounding flights and slowing down bullet trains in Beijing, Tianjin and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Six highways passing through the Chinese capital were closed. Beijing Railway Bureau said some trains along the Beijing-Shanghai, Beijing-Guangzhou and Beijing-Tianjin high-speed routes were running at a slower speed because of the snow.

At Beijing Capital International Airport, 150 flights were canceled.

Thousands of workers and hundreds of vehicles were sent out to clear snow from the capital's roads.

Many schools in the city's more-mountainous areas will be closed today due to the conditions, according to local education authorities.

All schools in the northwest suburb of Yanqing District will be closed and education departments in Mentougou, Fangshan, Miyun and Changping districts also announced closures to ensure the safety of their students.

Outdoor activities at the capital's primary and secondary schools were suspended over the weekend, the Beijing Education Commission said.

Heavy falls of snow hit the capital on Friday, and continued throughout the weekend.

Beijing Meteorological Station yesterday issued a yellow alert for icy roads, followed by a blue alert for blizzard conditions.

In China's four-tier weather warning system, red represents the most severe weather, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region issued an alert for snowstorms, calling for the maintenance of roads, railways and telecommunication facilities.

In Tianjin, all highways have been shut down and more than 20 flights were delayed at Tianjin Binhai International Airport.

Bus companies in Tianjin said they had added more vehicles to cope with residents' transport needs.

China's meteorological authority yesterday renewed a blue alert for snowstorms in the north.

Snowstorms will continue to hit Inner Mongolia and the northern provinces of Shanxi and Hebei as well as Beijing and Tianjin today, with some areas expected to see falls of up to 12 millimeters, the National Meteorological Center said. The center suggested affected areas take precautions as temperatures are expected to plunge.

It said a cold front would be sweeping north and central China over the next two days, forecasting a sharp temperature drop of up to 12 degrees Celsius and persistent strong winds.

  Xinhua -

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