Consecutive snow and freezing weather have blocked about 14,000
km of highways in the southwestern province of Yunnan and more than
12,000 passengers were affected on Sunday alone by preliminary
estimate, according to a spokesman of the provincial transport
Since late January, snow storms hit Yunnan, and in the northern
part of the province, damaging roads seriously.
From Jan. 19 to Saturday, the interrupted roads have amounted to
14,000 km, including 265 km expressways and more than 5,000 km
The disaster left about 178,000 people and 20,000 motor vehicles
stranded, and caused an economic loss of 154 million yuan (about
20.5 million U.S. dollars).
Snowy weather revisited the province on Thursday. Qujing, the
second largest city in Yunnan, closed six highways, cancelled 42
coach routes and suspended operation of about 800 motor vehicles.
Transport in other cities, including Zhaotong and Diqing, had also
been affected by snows.
Local governments have sent food and water to the stranded
drivers and passengers, and some of them have been transferred to
government-provided shelters or homes of residents along the
The provincial transport department has organized a repair
contingent to ensure smooth road travel, especially the transport
of important equipment and materials.
Workers sprayed salt and deicing agent to clear the road.
However, the repairs were greatly hampered by the plateau climate,
poor facilities and shortage of money. The governments of the
snow-affected cities were required to ensure adequate supply of
power, water, medicine, grain and vegetables. "We have taken
effective measures to ensure the people, especially those with
economic difficulties, to have enough food, winter clothes and a
warm place to stay," said Yue Yuesheng, mayor of Qujing.
(Xinhua News Agency February 18, 2008)