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Shanghai's airports feel the fallout
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The city's two main airports are the latest victims of the heavy snow of the past week.


Snowbound Shanghai Pudong International Airport had to close temporarily from 11am yesterday. Earlier, only 15 of 127 flights scheduled managed to depart. At Hongqiao, 16 flights landed, and 41 took off of the 525 scheduled, officials said.


Both airports resumed full operations at about 2pm, but arrivals and departures were still held up, officials said.


Even though the snow had stopped by last night the massive fall that hit on Friday and continued until yesterday took a heavy toll, with air, road and rail traffic affected.


About 1,000 People's Liberation Army soldiers helped clean up deep snow that had amassed on Shanghai's four major road bridges.


From Friday night to yesterday, the city received more than 10 centimeters snow on average, causing deep piles - and many well-crafted snowmen - in every district.


Chongming County was the worst affected, with a massive 21 centimeters, while the Xujiahui area in Xuhui District had five centimeters, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said.


Yesterday's highest temperature downtown was only 1.1 degrees Celsius, the lowest of this winter, forecasters said.


The Shanghai Long-Distance Bus Station canceled all services yesterday and had 39 windows open for ticket refunds.


Station officials contacted railway authorities and managed to send 300 tourists and migrant workers home by train on Friday night.


The station said it will add buses to transport more passengers to trains if road condition's don't improve.


Three sections of major highways were forced to close yesterday - both directions of Highway A30, southbound on Highway A11 and the Jinshan District part of Highway A4.


The Shanghai Railway Administrative Bureau yesterday stopped ticket selling for many southbound trips, including trains from Shanghai to Kunming, Yunnan Province, and Guangzhou, Guangdong Province.


The Shanghai Maritime Bureau yesterday opened "green passages" for coal-transport ships. Nineteen ships are expected to bring 510,000 tons of coal to Shanghai and other regions along the Yangtze River.


According to the latest statistics released by the Shanghai Trade Union, more than 120,000 migrant workers trying to head home for the Lunar New Year have been stranded in the city.


The union said about 400,000 migrant workers chose to stay in Shanghai for the Spring Festival and every effort will be made to provide for their needs.


From today until tomorrow, overcast skies are forecast in the city before the rain and snow return on Tuesday.


The good news is that due to a cold front from the north, Shanghai is expected to see sunny to cloudy weather for the Spring Festival, the weather bureau said.


(Shanghai Daily February 3, 2008)


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