Snowstorms hit China; flights, bullet trains affected

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Beijing, Nov 22: Heavy snowstorms hit a vast area of north China today, slowing down bullet trains and grounding flights here besides disrupting traffic flow in Tianjin and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Six highways passing through Beijing were also closed. Some trains along the Beijing-Guangzhou, Beijing-Shanghai and Beijing-Tianjin high-speed lines are running at a lower speed because of the snow, Beijing Railway Bureau said.

Snow

In Beijing, thousands of people and hundreds of vehicles were sent out to clear the snow on roads. About 23,000 workers and 2,300 vehicles can be mobilised to clean the roads, authorities said.

At Beijing Capital International Airport, 150 flights have been cancelled. 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 have been delayed at Tianjin Binhai International Airport. Bus companies in Tianjin said they have added more vehicles to cope with the city's transportation needs.

China's meteorological authority today renewed a blue alert, the lowest level in a four-tier warning system, for snowstorms in the north of the country.

Snowstorms will hit Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and northern provinces of Shanxi and Hebei as well as Beijing and Tianjin municipalities today and tomorrow, with some areas expected to see snowfall of up to 12 millimetres, the National Meteorological Center said.

The centre suggested affected areas take precautions as temperatures are expected to plunge. In China's four-tier colour-coded weather warning system, red represents the most severe weather, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

PTI

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