China lifts blizzard alert but second round of snow forecast

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 04, 2018 10:36 PM

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's weather bureau lifted a blizzard alert on Friday with fewer areas likely to face heavy snow, but it warned of a second wave of snow and sleet in parts of the country.

Record snowfall since late Wednesday has paralyzed parts of China, with Nanjing in eastern coastal Jiangsu province issuing a blizzard "red alert" on Thursday after forecasting 25 cm (10 inches) of snow.

The National Meteorological Center said light to moderate snowfall was expected to sweep across much of the north between Friday and Sunday, with heavy snow in some parts, as well as sleet in parts of Guizhou, Hubei and Hunan provinces.

The weather bureau had issued an alert on Wednesday, with snow disrupting public transport and energy supplies, damaging power lines and forcing authorities to shut down roads, airports and schools in parts of central China.

At least three airports were shut and nine were experiencing extensive delays on Thursday because of the heavy snow.

Several high-speed trains from Shanghai and Beijing were also delayed or cancelled on Thursday, and highways in the provinces of Jiangsu, Henan, Shaanxi and Hubei have also been closed off, the China Daily reported.

The ceilings of several bus stations in Hefei, the capital of Anhui province, had collapsed as a result of snow, resulting in at least one death, the newspaper said. The province saw a record 30 cm (12 inches) of snow on Thursday.

The roof of a factory in Xiangyang, in central China's Hubei province, also collapsed, trapping five people, and traffic in the city ground to a halt, according to the state broadcaster, China National Radio.

(Reporting by David Stanway and Michael Martina; Editing by Michael Perry)