Heavy snow wrecks havoc in SW China

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Heavy snow that began falling in southwest China Tuesday night has disrupted traffic, shut airports and collapsed train station shelters, and freezing weather has left thousands of homes without tap water in Chongqing.

In the hardest-hit Guizhou Province, the Guiyang Longdongbao International Airport in the capital Guiyang was forced to shut from Tuesday night to Wednesday noon.

At the Guiyang Train Station, two people were hospitalized when the station's shelter collapsed under the weight of snow early Wednesday morning.

Neither of them were seriously hurt and one of them has been discharged from hospital, said the train station spokesman.

More snow is expected in Guizhou Thursday, according to the provincial Meteorological Observatory.

In the neighboring Chongqing Municipality, more than 10,000 people in Qianjiang District have been out of tap water since Monday afternoon as freezing temperatures have caused water meters and pipelines to break.

Repairmen are working round the clock to fix the facilities.

More than 800 vehicles over a length of 10 km were stranded on ice-coated Guiyang-Xinzhai Expressway Wednesday morning, according to the traffic police.

Snow and sleet has struck five provincial level localities, including Hunan, Guangxi, Chongqing, Guizhou and Yunnan since Monday.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs Wednesday distributed 10,000 cotton-patted quilts and 10,000 cotton-patted coats to Yunnan province.

Two sections along the expressway in Yunnan Province were cut off traffic, and traffic along expressways in Guizhou and Hunan provinces were also slowed down due to slippery roads as of 18:00 p.m. Beijing time, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

The Ministry of Public Security Wednesday held a tele-conference, urging police in the hard-hit areas to go all out to prevent major traffic accidents and long-time traffic clog.

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