NE China battles worst snowstorm in 50 years

Updated: 2013-11-19 14:35 (Xinhua)

NE China battles worst snowstorm in 50 years

Residents are mobilized to clear snow in Harbin city, capital of Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province. Starting Saturday night, it snowed for 60 hours, with an average daily snowfall of 11.4 mm. It was the worst snowstorm to hit the city in 50 years. [Photo/Xinhua]

HARBIN -- Over 50,000 people were mobilized Tuesday to clear snow in Harbin, capital of Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, after the worst snowstorm in 50 years hit the city for 60 hours.

Average daily snowfall in the city proper reached 11.4 mm starting on Saturday, the highest level recorded since 1961 when consecutive weather recording began in the city, according to the city's weather station.

Residents, police and volunteers helped to clear snow and ice on the streets, and special snow clearing machines and vehicles were also mobilized, according to the city government.

Education authorities requested that all kindergartens, primary and high schools in the urban area close on Monday and Tuesday, as the accumulated snow on streets exceeded 10 cm in some areas.

The National Meteorological Center on Tuesday issued a blue alert for snowstorms, forecasting continuous snow in the eastern part of Heilongjiang for the next 24 hours. Snowfall is expected to reach 10 to 14 mm by 8 am Wednesday morning.

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