Snow causes transport chaos in China
Heavy snow across southern and eastern parts of China has disrupted traffic, closed airports and caused misery to thousands of travellers at the start of the peak Spring Festival holiday period, local media has reported. Guiyang Longdongbao International Airport, in Guizhou province, was forced to shut from Tuesday night to Wednesday afternoon, while at Guiyang train station two people were injured when the station’s shelter collapsed under the weight of snow on Wednesday. The China Daily reported that more than 800 vehicles were stranded on a stretch of expressway in Yunnan province, while traffic along expressways in Guizhou and Hunan provinces also ground to a halt.
Meanwhile in Shanghai, hundreds of flights were delayed or cancelled at Pudong and Hongqiao airports after the blizzard blew into the city yesterday morning. The Shanghai Daily reported China Eastern Airlines as saying that most said their flights from Shanghai were delayed, as were those from Nanjing, Nanchang, Hangzhou, Changsha, Hefei and Wuhan. By Thursday morning, 73 domestic flights were delayed at the Hongqiao airport and 27 at Pudong. One Pudong flight was also cancelled, the Shanghai airport authority was reported saying.
Inter-city coach services were also hit by the snowfall, with at least 150 buses from Shanghai to Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Anhui and Jiangxi provinces being cancelled yesterday.
The disruption couldn’t have come at a worse time for China, with an estimated 2.5 billion passenger trips expected to be taken during the 40-day Spring Festival holiday period.