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Snowstorm disrupts return travel peak as Spring Festival ends

02-06-2014 20:38 BJT

By CCTV reporter Xia Ruixue

Thursday is the final day of the week-long Chinese Lunar New Year holiday. Tens of millions of people will return to work from their hometown. But snowstorms in Central and Eastern China are disrupting travel plans.

The warmest New Year holiday in years is ending with a blizzard.

Passengers walk into the Huaibei Railway Station in Huaibei City, east China's Anhui
Province, Feb. 5, 2014. With the Spring Festival coming to an end, people started to leave
their hometowns for the workplaces. (Xinhua/Wang Wen)

Snow which began late Tuesday in regions including the provinces of Henan, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Hebei and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, was still falling on Thursday. The Henan meteorological center issued a yellow alert for icy roads. It says snow on the ground in some areas could be as thick as 8 to 20 centimeters.

Temperatures have fallen by much as 20 degrees Celsius.

Tens of millions of people will return to work after family reunions, as the week-long spring festival is coming to an end. But the snowstorms have disrupted their travel plans.

A girl walks into the Huaibei Railway Station in Huaibei City, east China's Anhui Province,
Feb. 5, 2014. With the Spring Festival coming to an end, people started to leave their
hometowns for the workplaces. (Xinhua/Wang Wen)

Slippery ice has forced dozens of expressways in Hebei and Henan provinces to close. The Zhengzhou Long Distance Bus Terminal has suspended two-thirds of service, mainly to northern and eastern China.

"I plan to go back to work. But it says the expressway has been closed due to the bad weather and all the buses to that direction stopped. I’m thinking of using other transport means. I’ll probably go by train," a passenger from Zhengzhou said.

”We had 40,000 road passengers a day at this time of last year, but the number dropped to 17,000 yesterday. An almost 50 percent decrease in passenger volume. It’s all because of the snowstorm. ” said Mi Li from Zhengzhou Long Distance Bus Terminal.

Bad weather is also putting more pressure on the railway system. Express trains have lowered their speed to 200 kilometers an hour from the usual 300.

Henan province is the source of a large number of migrant workers. Railway stations there are struggling as the holiday winds down. More temporary trains are planned to get workers back to their jobs.

 

 

Editor:James |Source: CCTV.com

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