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Transportation remains grim as festival return peak looms
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China's government task force tackling snow snarl alerted on Sunday night the transportation situation remained grim as the new travel peak loomed, despite of the initial victory achieved.

"We have reaped the final victory of ensuring smooth transportation amid snow after major highways and railways have resumed normal order," the Disaster Relief and Emergency Command Center under the State Council said in a notice.

The overall situation, however, remained very grim as the nation braces for Lunar New Year return traffic peak and a mass of goods and materials which give way to emergency coals, are edgily waiting for transportation, the task force said. Early preparation should be made to guarantee smooth transportation in the face of another round of precipitation and snow in south and southwest China in the next 10 days.

China is expected to see a peak of railway traffic on Feb. 12, the last day of the Chinese Lunar New Year break, said the Ministry of Railway on Sunday. Post-Spring Festival railway traffic peak saw more than five million passengers in one day last year and we expect even more this year, predicted the ministry.

Highway transportation except has returned to normalcy. Some 28.1 million people have been carried by major expressways and highways on Sunday, up 6.05 million over the previous day.

Some 4,291 flights carrying 535,000 passengers took off on Sunday, 23,000 more than a day earlier.

Efforts are going on to meet demands of power and coal. The stockpile of power coal has reached 22.12 million tons, enough to fuel national power stations for 11 days on average.

Coal shipment hit new high in northern China ports. The four major ports in the area shipped a record 1.409 million tons of coal on Saturday, an increase of 79,000 tons from a day earlier.

By Sunday, the State Grid has restored power supply to 22.12 million households, or 92.7 percent of the affected total.

The South China State Grid has issued a special order urging its rescue teams to be fully aware of the risks and take every measures to ensure work safety.

The order asked workers to be cautious when repairing the highly risky power lines and strictly check the safety measures before taking operation.

(Xinhua News Agency February 11, 2008)

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