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Record-low temperatures, widespread snowfall prompt emergency measures across China


China snow emergency

WEB DESK: Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged a comprehensive emergency response to address the intensifying cold wave gripping China.

On Friday, temperatures dropped below freezing nationwide, leading to disruptions in transportation due to widespread snowfall.

Forecasts from China’s National Meteorological Centre predicted temperatures to plummet to below minus 40 degrees Celsius in Heilongjiang, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Qinghai, and other regions.

President Xi, who visited the southern Guangxi region, highlighted the adverse impact of heavy rain and snow on power supplies, transportation, and people’s lives.

He instructed local governments to enhance precautionary measures and refine contingency plans in response to the weather-related challenges.

The cold wave, progressing from north to south since the beginning of the week, is expected to persist into the weekend, bringing a further drop in temperatures.

Notably, Yichun in Heilongjiang may experience a record low of minus 47.9 degrees Celsius, surpassing the previous record set in January 1980.

In Henan province, snowfall, icy roads, and heavy fog resulted in multiple accidents on motorways, prompting traffic controls. Authorities in Ningxia and Gansu reported unsafe highways and suspended train services due to snowfall.

Outside Beijing, an incident on a commuter rail line involved a train carriage failing to brake on a downhill slope and colliding with a stationary car due to deteriorating track conditions in the snow.

Over 500 individuals were sent to hospitals for medical checks, with many sustaining bone fractures.

In Guangdong, 29 passenger ferry routes were suspended, while Shanghai experienced its first cold wave warning of the year, leading to temporary suspensions of ferries and buses.

The southwest, including Tibetan cities like Shigatse and Nyingchi, faced blocked highways due to snow, ice, and poor visibility.

To safeguard vegetable and fruit harvests, Beijing, Jiangxi, and Shanxi implemented measures against freeze damage and diseases.

While the blizzard warning was lifted, forecasts indicated heavy snowfall in Liaoning, Jilin, and Shandong.

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In response to the challenging weather conditions, Shenyang in Liaoning deployed 22,000 workers and over 3,400 machines for snow removal operations.

The observatory forecasted continued snowfall and strong winds in the region until Saturday.

Looking ahead, the cold air is expected to persist across China from north to south in the coming week, maintaining low temperatures in the central and eastern regions.

 

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