Snow hin­ders re­turn to work

High-speed trains forced to slow; flights can­celed due to bad weather

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By AN BAIJIE in BEI­JING and HE WEI in LUOYANG, HENAN

Snow­storms con­tin­ued to sweep cen­tral and north­ern parts of China on Thurs­day, caus­ing dif­fi­cul­ties for peo­ple head­ing back to work af­ter their Spring Fes­ti­val hol­i­day.

High-speed trains on four lines, in­clud­ing Bei­jing-Shang­hai and Bei­jing-Guangzhou, were forced to lower their speed to 200 km/h be­cause of snow­fall, China Rail­way Corp said on its web­site. The trains usu­ally travel up to 300 km/h.

More than 8 mil­lion train trips were ex­pected to be made by trav­el­ers on Thurs­day as the hol­i­day ended.

To meet travel de­mand, rail­way au­thor­i­ties added 768 ex­tra routes on Thurs­day af­ter 7.97 mil­lion train trips were made on Wed­nes­day, the cor­po­ra­tion said.

Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal au­thor­i­ties in Henan and Hubei prov­inces is­sued orange alerts on Thurs­day af­ter­noon for snow­storms. The storms are ex­pected to ex­pand from cen­tral and east­ern China to the north­ern parts of the coun­try, the Na­tional Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Center said on Thurs­day.

Snow­fall is likely to con­tinue at least through Fri­day night in the north, and many places in south­ern China will be af­fected by snow start­ing Satur­day, ac­cord­ing to the center.

Snow was fore­cast to fall in Bei­jing on Fri­day morn­ing, end­ing the 107 days with­out pre­cip­i­ta­tion in the cap­i­tal.

Xinzheng In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Zhengzhou, Henan prov­ince, was closed from 2 pm to 6 pm on Wed­nes­day be­cause of heavy snow that blocked the run­ways, China News Ser­vice re­ported.

About 120,000 pas­sen­gers, in­clud­ing those who could not travel by air or bus, went to Zhengzhou Rail­way Sta­tion on Wed­nes­day, said Qi Bao­jun, a sta­tion of­fi­cial.

Wang Hui­jun, 26, a pas­sen­ger who was stuck at the Wu­gang bus sta­tion in Henan, said that she had to ask her boss for ex­tra leave af­ter her bus was can­celed be­cause of heavy snow.

“The snow has dis­rupted my trip,” said Wang, who was try­ing to get back to Hangzhou, Zhejiang prov­ince.

Stranded pas­sen­ger Zhang Yu said that he was relieved to learn that his flight might de­part af­ter a 15-hour de­lay on Thurs­day.

“We should have left for Shang­hai at 10 pm on Wed­nes­day,” said Zhang, who was vis­it­ing rel­a­tives in Luoyang, Henan prov­ince.

Zhengzhou ex­pe­ri­enced its first snow of the year on Tues­day, with tem­per­a­tures drop­ping from 15 C to -4 C.

Liang Yun, who works for a tele­com com­pany in Shang­hai, said she saw at least 10 car ac­ci­dents in heavy snow dur­ing her drive home from Shan­dong prov­ince.

“It was very fright­en­ing be­cause those car crashes were just me­ters ahead of me. They ei­ther turned over or were rearended by other ve­hi­cles. I had to keep the speed at 40 kilo­me­ters per hour,” Liang said.

She had planned a one-day visit to Lianyun­gang in Jiangsu, but the harsh weather forced her to can­cel the trip and hurry back to Shang­hai.

Liang, who has been driv­ing for six years, said she could feel the wheels of her car skid­ding on the slip­pery sur­face dur­ing the eight-hour drive.

“But, if I hadn’t made the overnight trip, I might have been stuck in the mid­dle of nowhere, be­cause the storm seemed to get worse and many high­ways are tem­po­rar­ily closed,” Liang said. Qi Xin in Zhengzhou con­trib­uted to this story. Con­tact the writ­ers at an­bai­jie@chi­nadaily.com.cn and hewei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

LONG WEI / FOR CHINA DAILY

Pas­sen­gers wait to check in at Hangzhou East Rail­way Sta­tion in Zhejiang prov­ince on Thurs­day.

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