Cold snap grips north China, prompting emergency measures-Xinhua

Cold snap grips north China, prompting emergency measures

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-11-06 22:18:16

Sanitation workers clear snow from a street in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Nov. 6, 2023. (Xinhua/Wang Jianwei)

BEIJING, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- With night temperature forecast to drop to zero degrees Celsius, Beijing on Monday kicked off its heating supply a week earlier than its usual start date for the winter season.

A cold front has ushered in strong winds and heavy snowfall across northern and northeastern China since Sunday. In response, local authorities have implemented emergency measures, including the temporary suspension of classes and business operations, along with an early activation of heating systems.

The northernmost province of Heilongjiang issued a red alert on Sunday for blizzards, according to the local meteorological service.

Multiple cities in the province are expected to experience heavy snowfall, with accumulated precipitation ranging between 20 mm and 40 mm, from Sunday evening to Monday evening, according to the forecast.

The cold wave is expected to bring blizzards and sleets in Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning provinces as well as the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region from Sunday morning to Monday evening, according to the National Meteorological Center.

"This round of snowfall is expected to be exceptionally strong, particularly in the southeast of Heilongjiang Province, where the rainfall and snowfall may surpass historical records for this time of the year," said Fang Chong, chief forecaster of the National Meteorological Center. "In northeast China, the average timing for the first snowfall typically falls between late November and early December. This snowfall is slightly earlier than usual."

On Monday, Harbin, the capital city of Heilongjiang, suspended passenger coach services and halted all classes across educational institutions in the city.

Meanwhile, heavy snowfall led to the closure of schools in various cities across Liaoning and Jilin on Monday.

The Harbin Taiping International Airport remained operational on Monday, but it announced the cancellation of 39 flights.

To tackle the complex weather conditions, northeast provinces of China responded swiftly to the snow-related emergencies, stepping up efforts to maintain order and ensure safety.

Data shows that as of Monday morning, Harbin had mobilized more than 24,000 people for snow and ice clearance operations, along with over 2,700 pieces of snow and ice removal machinery and equipment.

Changchun City, the capital of Jilin Province, had proactively developed a snow clearance plan two days in advance. The entire city now has 15,000 sanitation workers and over 1,700 snow removal vehicles and equipment ready for action.

The State Grid Jilin Province Electric Power Supply Company has formed 89 emergency repair teams with over 1,700 workers. China Railway Shenyang Bureau Group deployed over 200 ice-removing locomotives to prevent ice accumulation on various railway lines starting Sunday night.

Heating-supply companies in various cities are also actively coordinating with power plants, improving heating parameters, monitoring data, and preparing emergency plans. Proactive measures include boosting heating capacity, equipment inspections, and ensuring fuel reserves meet demand during prolonged low temperatures.

The Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Management said on Monday that the heating supply would ensure the indoor temperature in centralized heating areas meets 18 degrees Celsius by Tuesday morning, which is much earlier than the usual start date for the winter heating season.

The centralized heating areas in Beijing span approximately 1.05 billion square meters, with residential heating areas comprising around 679 million square meters.

Currently, all the city's 3,610 heating boilers for residential areas have been activated. No additional heating fees will be charged for the early supply, according to the commission.

Snow plows roared on the main streets of Hulun Buir City in Inner Mongolia on Monday, while sanitation workers shoveled snow and cleaned icy roads. Of 107 monitoring stations in the city, 85 recorded snowfall, with 14 stations reporting blizzard-level snowfall.

Xu Yuqiang, from the municipal meteorological bureau, said the maximum snowfall in the city reached 19.7 mm, and the maximum depth of snow pile on the ground was logged at 16 cm.

According to the regional meteorological service, the blizzard weather will continue to affect the middle and eastern part of Inner Mongolia till Tuesday. Local authorities on Monday ordered the suspension of classes and business operations in response to the extreme weather. 


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