Weather in China: Millions of people without electricity and crippled by record snowfall | World | New


The National Weather Center lifted a blizzard alert and said light to moderate snowfall is expected to sweep much of the north between Friday and Sunday, with heavy snow in some parts and sleet in others.

The weather bureau issued an alert on Wednesday, with snow disrupting public transportation and energy supplies, damaging power lines and forcing authorities to close roads, airports and schools in parts of central China.

All electricity in Suizhou, a small town of 2.5 million people in northern central Hubei province, was out of power due to heavy snowfall, state broadcaster China Central Television reported.

Temperatures in Suizhou are expected to drop to minus 5 degrees Celsius (23 degrees Fahrenheit) on Friday.

Hubei, which does not have central heating infrastructure unlike the northern provinces, has seen an increase in electricity consumption for heating, according to CCTV.

In Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, the local government has relaxed restrictions on gas use for residents struggling with freezing temperatures.

At least three airports were closed on Thursday and nine suffered significant delays due to heavy snowfall.

Several high-speed trains from Shanghai and Beijing were also delayed or canceled on Thursday, and highways in Jiangsu, Henan, Shaanxi and Hubei provinces were also closed, the China Daily reported.

The ceilings of several bus stations in Hefei, the capital of Anhui province, collapsed due to the snow, killing at least one, according to the newspaper. The province recorded a record 30 cm (12 inches) of snow on Thursday.

The roof of a factory in Xiangyang, also in Hubei province, collapsed, trapping five people, and traffic in the city stopped, according to state broadcaster China National Radio.

CCTV footage from Friday also showed collapsed factory roofs in Henan and Anhui provinces.

In contrast, Beijing was dry, with many parts of northern China experiencing little or no snowfall.

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