Provinces in central and northwest China on Wednesday reported more losses from heavy snow, while southern provinces reported signs of recovery from the disaster.
The heavy snow affected 407,800 people in the central Henan Province from Jan. 11 to 29, costing an estimated 246 million yuan (34.2 million U.S. dollars), according to the provincial civil affairs department.
A total of 687 houses collapsed under the weight of snow and 204,200 hectares of crops were damaged. Authorities have so far evacuated 2,725 people from unsafe houses.
In northwestern Shaanxi Province, 756,500 people have been affected, including 1,200 who were ill or injured in snow-related accidents and 182,300 people who face drinking water shortages.
More than 6,400 domestic animals and poultry died in the cold, while 340 houses collapsed. Shaanxi's losses from the snow stood at 187 million yuan, according to the provincial department of civil affairs.
The snow, the heaviest in decades in many places, has been falling in east, central and south China for more than a fortnight. It has caused deaths, structural collapses, blackouts, highway closures and crop destruction.
More than 77.86 million people had been affected by the snow in 14 provinces, including Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei and Hunan, by 2:00 p.m. on Monday, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
Meanwhile, a spokesman from General Administration of Civil Aviation of China said on Tuesday that all the airports that had been forced to close due to snow had been reopened, alleviating the pressure on national transport services.
The southern part of Beijing-Zhuhai expressway, a north-south trunk road, is expected to reopen to traffic on Wednesday after workers removed ice from road surfaces, according to sources from the Ministry of Public Security.
(Xinhua News Agency January 30, 2008)