Heavy snow expected to continue in NE China

Updated: 2013-11-18 08:21

By Zhou Huiying and Jin Haixing (China Daily)

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Heavy snow expected to continue in NE China

Police officers help move a stalled car as the first heavy snow shut down expressways and delayed flights in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, on Sunday. Wang Tienan / for China Daily

Meteorologists said heavy snow will continue to fall in Northeast China on Monday, after snarling traffic in Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces since Saturday.

The National Meteorological Center issued a yellow alert for blizzards on Sunday, the second straight day such an alert has been announced.

Heavy snow expected to continue in NE China

A worker with a fast-food restaurant takes advantage of the early snowfall in Harbin on Sunday. Liu Yang / for China Daily

In China's color-coded warning system for severe weather, red is the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

From Sunday to Monday, strong winds and heavy snow - up to 20 centimeters in some regions - will hit the northeastern provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liao-ning, it said.

But snow will taper off significantly on Tuesday, forecasters said.

The snow has affected traffic flow in Heilongjiang and Jilin. Up to 10 cm of snow fell in many parts of Heilongjiang on Sunday, including the provincial capital Harbin.

Several expressways in the province have been closed. In Jilin province, two sections of expressway were still closed as of 7 pm on Sunday, traffic authorities said.

On Sunday, five flights from Beijing to Northeast China were canceled, according to traffic authorities.

Harbin's Taiping International Airport, though still in operation, has issued a yellow alert for flight delays as visibility dropped to less than 500 meters on Sunday morning.

At Changchun Longjia Airport, in Jilin province, operations were normal on Sunday. But at two other airports in the province, operations were suspended because of snow.

Heilongjiang's Yichun airport and Mudanjiang airport were also shut down on Sunday for the same reason.

The four airports will reopen on Monday morning.

The weather also forced schools in Harbin to close. On Sunday, parents of students at kindergartens, primary schools and high schools received a notice from the Harbin education bureau, saying the schools would be closed on Monday.

Liu Shuang, the mother of a second-grader in Harbin, said she had received a notice from her son's school telling parents to pay attention to weather alert information.

"The school notice also told parents to think of children's safety first when bad weather comes and not to worry about being late for school," Liu said.

Snow was falling all day on Sunday. Liu said the main roads had been cleared by snowplows but smaller roads had not. "It was difficult to drive, and every driver went slowly," she said.

A China Daily reporter witnessed several minor accidents in the capital of Heilongjiang that caused traffic delays. In the city, journeys that usually take 10 minutes were taking around one hour on Sunday morning because of the snowy weather.

Contact the writers at zhouhuiying@chinadaily.com.cn and jinhaixing@chinadaily.com.cn

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