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China issues alert on freezing temperatures in southern China

0 CommentsPrint E-mail CNTV, January 5, 2011
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Widespread icy rain and a deep freeze have wreaked havoc in southern China, stalling traffic, damaging power facilities, and disrupting people's lives. The China Meteorological Center has issued an alert on freezing temperatures in the country's south.

Temperatures will fall below zero degrees Celsius in Guizhou and Hunan provinces and Chongqing municipality in the coming days. The cold weather is expected to continue throughout early January, but counter-measures are also underway.

It was an icy start to the new year.

Traffic began to move slowly along this ice-covered highway in Guizhou Province.

Over 6,500 vehicles had been stranded in neighboring provinces now have successfully made their way into Guizhou.

A driver said, "We can finally get out of here after being stranded for nearly two days. However, we were provided with food and water."

Thousands of travelers were also stranded in neighboring provinces, as road links with Guizhou were cut.

In Hunan province, long-distance buses carrying more than 6,000 passengers had been redirected after being delayed on an expressway for one day.

Nearly 10,000 workers and officials have been working around the clock since Saturday to keep traffic moving.

The freezing rain has also damaged power lines.

Some sections of the power lines were coated in ice more than 6 centimeters thick.

Power companies have installed melting devices on some of the lines.

Zhu Gangyi, Guizhou Branch of China Southern Power Grid, said, "We've received reports that the melting devices are working well. We have eight 500 kilovolt power lines, which are our most crucial power network. Now, all ice on that line has melted."

The lives of more than 1.6 million people in the province were also affected by the freezing weather and icy roads.

Vegetable prices in Guizhou have jumped in the past three days as many delivery trucks became stranded.

To curb vegetable price hikes, local government is rushing to pick and purchase more vegetables from nearby villages. It also ordered traffic departments to give priority to trucks delivering vegetables.


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