Wed, April 14, 2010
China > Mainland

North and east hit with snow, frost

2010-04-14 02:58:59 GMT2010-04-14 10:58:59 (Beijing Time)  Global Times

A car owner in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province clears snow from his car. Heavy snow blanketed the city on Monday. Photo: CFP

Local residents walk in heavy snow in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, April 13, 2010. Meteorological authorities in Harbin issued snowstorm red alert early Tuesday morning, saying the snow will continue with precipitation of 15 millimeters over six hours. Photo: Xinhua

A snow clearer clears snow which covers the high way in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, April 13, 2010. The capital city of Heilongjiang Province was hit by the biggest snowstorm of the year on Tuesday, with roads and air traffic disrupted and schools closed. Photo: Xinhua

A snow clearer clears snow in the street in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, April 13, 2010. Meteorological authorities in Harbin issued snowstorm red alert early Tuesday morning, saying the snow will continue with precipitation of 15 millimeters over six hours. Photo: Xinhua

The east and north sections of China have experienced unusual weather conditions in recent days including snow, frost and heavy rains - rare occurrences in previous years.

The strange weather came even as the drought continues to punish the southwest.

In East China's Shandong Province, residents have been reaching into their closets for their winter clothes after the temperature suddenly dropped by 8 C to as low as –3 C.

Frost is in the forecast for the next three days across the province, which is the country's major grain producer.

Residents looking forward to warm weather in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region were surprised by a snowfall on Monday. In Chifeng, about 100,000 people have been affected and 9,000 livestock have been killed since January due to the low temperature, the city's Civil Affairs Bureau said.

Some 17 counties and cities in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province were hit by the biggest snowstorm of the year Tuesday, causing traffic problems and school closures.

The provincial capital Harbin was among the worst hit with 28 millimeters of snow falling between 8 am Monday to 8 am Tuesday, prompting the local meteorological authority to issue the first red snowstorm alert of 2010.

"The snow on the ground is above my ankles. It is difficult to walk downtown," said a Harbin resident surnamed Liu.

The local education bureau issued an urgent notice Tuesday, ordering the closure of primary and high schools today. Many schools had closed voluntarily Tuesday.

More than 1,500 passengers were stranded in the city's Taiping International Airport, which was closed since Monday morning, forcing the cancellation of 23 flights and the delay of 53 through midday Tuesday.

Five trains from the Harbin Railway Station were canceled and 39 others were delayed.

The flood season came two weeks earlier in East China's Jiangxi Province. Hundreds of people were forced to evacuate after heavy rains pelted 45 counties.

"It's because of the extreme weather across the country, including the drought in the southwest," said Zhu Shuigui of the provincial Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, adding that 146,000 people were affected and the direct economic loss hit 107.5 million yuan ($15 million).

Precipitation across the province reached 84 millimeters on average between Saturday and Tuesday morning.

While the flood is hurting Jiangxi, drought-stricken residents in southwest China are praying for rain.

The drought has affected 25.39 million people, 18.08 million livestock and 8.13 million hectares of land in Yunnan, Guizhou, and Sichuan provinces as well as the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Global Times - Xinhua

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