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Jiangsu facing snowy challenge

By Cang Wei in Nanjing | China Daily | Updated: 2024-02-24 07:10

Many people in Jiangsu province have recently become familiar with the Chinese character xian for the first time. Xian, or graupel, sometimes appears when supercooled airborne water droplets are collected and freeze on falling snowflakes, forming 2-5 millimeter clusters of crisp, opaque rime.

Xian, together with snow, sleet, freezing rain and ice pellets, have recently fallen, causing significant transportation issues in Jiangsu on Thursday and Friday.

In Suzhou, a multi-vehicle pileup occurred on an industrial park overpass at around 7 am on Friday, which resulted in nine motorists being injured to varying degrees, said the traffic police brigade of the Suzhou Industrial Park Public Security Bureau.

Due to the inhospitable weather conditions and low temperatures, all primary and secondary schools, kindergartens and vocational schools in Nanjing, Yangzhou, Taizhou and Zhenjiang in Jiangsu were closed on Friday. Classes have been rescheduled for Sunday.

The Nanjing Emergency Center sent ambulances 365 times to carry victims of 148 collisions to the hospital due to the xian which accumulated from 7 am to 4 pm on Thursday in the provincial capital. The center said that post-snowfalls, fractures are most common involving ankles, tailbones and wrists.

If one feels they are about to fall, they should quickly squat down to lower the body's center of gravity, reduce the impact force when falling, and try to land on the side of the body to avoid direct impact on the joints, according to the center.

Liu Dan, who lives in Nanjing's Jianye district, said that the icy roadways made it impossible for her to drive uphill into the garage.

While her mother complained that her driving skills were not good enough to drive uphill, she argued that her car was a rear-wheel drive vehicle, and it could not drive properly on snowy days. Finally, two security guards from her residential community helped her push the car uphill into the garage.

"It has nothing to do with my driving skills," Liu said in her defense.

Street cleaning underway

On Thursday night, while many people were already turned in for the night, urban management and sanitation workers toiled through the late hours to clean the streets.

The Nanjing Urban Management Bureau carried out snow removal and de-icing operations in key areas such as near hospitals and produce markets to create a safe environment for both motorists and pedestrians. The highway maintenance department spreads anti-icing agents to prevent slippery commutes.

"It is expected that more than 10 flights at Nanjing Lukou International Airport will be delayed on Friday due to the weather," said Chen Jie, deputy team leader of the third duty team at the Nanjing Immigration Inspection Station.

"We have initiated an emergency plan, dispatched additional police officers, optimized the Customs clearance process, reduced waiting times and made every effort to ensure efficient and smooth Customs clearance," Chen said.

The Jiangsu Provincial Meteorological Bureau said on Friday that the rain and snow in the province will continue until Sunday. The entire province will still experience rainy, snowy and icy conditions on Friday and Saturday.

The bureau continues to issue an orange alert for road icing. The public is reminded to pay attention to travel safety, especially regarding the elderly and young children, who should try to avoid going out at all.

Neighboring Zhejiang province had issued more than 90 alerts for road icing, heavy rain and galeforce winds as of 7:50 am on Friday. Many parks in Zhejiang and Jiangsu have suspended operations due to the weather.

The China Meteorological Administration continues to issue yellow alerts for low temperatures and icy conditions, and expects that from 8 am on Friday to 8 pm on Sunday, the daily average temperatures in many provinces will be more than 5 C lower than normal for the period.

It is also predicted that from 2 pm on Friday to 2 pm on Saturday, there will be freezing rain or sleet in some areas of southern and central Anhui, northwestern Zhejiang, central and southern Hubei province, most parts of Hunan province, northwestern Jiangxi province, central and eastern Guizhou province and southeastern Chongqing.

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