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Chinese cities shiver as temperature plummets
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Most Chinese cities experienced a brutally cold morning on Monday when temperatures plummeted and snowflakes dropped.

In the northeast Liaoning Province, a strong cold front hit all the cities as the northeastern Xifeng County reported minus 30 degrees centigrade, a record low for the period over the past 30 years.

In the eastern Jiangxi Province, the provincial meteorological authority issued a warning for cold air and icy roads. Snow and rain was expected in most of the province over the next three days.

According to the local meteorological observatory, most regions reported an 11-14 degree centigrade temperature plunge within 48 hours.

People in southwest Sichuan Province put on more clothing when snow fell on the basin. In Chengdu, the provincial capital, continuous rain and a rare snowfall brought down the temperature by an average of five degrees.

The sudden temperature drop had caught many by surprise.

"I did not expect that there would be such a cold day in Chengdu," said local resident Chen Kai, clad in a down garment he hadn't worn in years.

In the central Hubei Province, heavy snow played havoc with traffic.

The Tianhe International Airport in Wuhan, the provincial capital, was closed for more than two hours on Monday. Nearly 300 flights have been delayed since Sunday, according to Lin Hua, an airport official.

The heavy snow also closed all expressways in the province temporarily.

"About 1,000 coach runs have been affected, stranding a large number of passengers," said Wang Yuanfang who works at a Wuhan coach terminal.

The Wuhan Observatory warned the snow and rain would last for about two days.

(Xinhua News Agency January 15, 2008)

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