Weekend Snows to Pose Greater Challenge to Transport
Snows will continue to hit China's southern, central and eastern areas from January 25 to 27, posing a greater challenge to the country's transportation system, according to meteorological authorities.
Heavy snows, which started falling in China's central and eastern areas since January 18, have led to expressway closures, flight cancellations and hoards of passengers swarming into railway stations.
Millions of people trying to return to their homes for the traditional Spring Festival have put more pressure on the country's transportation system.
"Central China's Henan Province and the northern part of East China's Anhui Province will see snows weaken in a couple of days as the cold air edges south," said Bi Baogui, deputy director of the Central Meteorological Observatory.
"But another gust of snow will soon attack southwestern Sichuan, Guizhou provinces, central Hunan, Hubei provinces as well as eastern Jiangxi Province and part of Anhui," Bi said.
He warned that transport departments may endure another severe test, though the coming snows are not as strong as the current ones.
Chinese meteorological authorities have been cooperating with the aviation, highway and shipping sectors closely to ensure that they are first to get weather information.
Railways have been delivering a record number of passengers since January 18, as people turned to trains to get round expressway closures and flight cancellations and delays.
On Monday alone, trains across the country transported more than 4.2 million passengers, up 35.4 percent from a year ago, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Railways.
The ministry previously forecast that China's railways would carry an unprecedented 178.6 million passengers during the travel rush from January 23 to March 2, up from 156 million last year.
Railways are expected to meet another passenger peak on January 25 and 26 as flocks of students take the train to hometowns for winter vacation, the ministry said.
By January 22, the heavy snowfall had claimed 17 lives and caused widespread traffic and power disruption.
[More China News]