China's Ministry of Public Security (MPS) on Sunday ordered traffic police nationwide to prepare for possible traffic disruptions caused by a lingering cold snap.
The cold weather that has stopped traffic on national highways in several central and southern provinces since New Year's Day is likely to last ten more days.
At a national meeting on coping with traffic disruptions during the cold snap, vice public security minister Huang Ming said local traffic police should be prepared to control and solve traffic problems that icy weather and sleet might cause.
Further, local traffic police should make realistic emergency plans, prepare emergency supplies and equipment for de-icing and removing snow, and quickly handle traffic accidents, he said.
He added that road closures should be the last choice in handling poor road conditions caused by freezing weather. Additionally, local traffic police should take other measures such as temporarily opening roads to ensure traffic flows.
The recent inclement weather is a reminder of the disastrous freezing winter at the beginning of 2008, which stopped traffic, damaged power grids, and disrupted lives of millions in southern China.
However, experts believe China is unlikely to suffer similar conditions this winter because of inadequate moisture.