Blizzard batters traffic in NE China

( ) Updated: 2013-11-17 17:29:56
Blizzard batters traffic in NE China

Trucks and workers shovel snow on the streets of Harbin, Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province, Nov 17. A blizzard has been pummeling the city as well as many other areas in NE China since Saturday night. The local weather bureau in Harbin has issued a yellow alert for snow, the third highest level in China’s four-tier snow alert system. At least 6 mm of snow is expected across the city on Sunday. Many flights have been delayed and some highways have closed due to safety concerns. [Photo/Xinhua]

HARBIN - Traffic and schools have been hit in northeast China's Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces as a blizzard closed expressways and schools and delayed flights.

Snow on the ground was as thick as 10 cm on Sunday in many regions in Heilongjiang, including the provincial capital Harbin, according to the local meteorological station, which predicted that the heavy snow will last until Tuesday in some regions.

Several schools, including kindergartens, primary and middle schools in six districts in Harbin city will be closed on Monday.

Several expressways had been closed and were not reopened as of 7 p.m..

Harbin's Taiping International Airport, though still in operation, issued a yellow alert for flight delays as visibility dropped below 500 meters on Sunday morning.

Heavy snow also blanketed Jilin Province with several expressways closed.

Local meteorological stations issued an orange alert for heavy snow  Sunday morning. The eastern part of Jilin is expected to see continuous heavy snow within the next 24 hours.

China's top meteorological authority on Sunday continued to warn of prolonged heavy snow in the northeastern areas.

The National Meteorological Center (NMC) issued a yellow alert for blizzards on Sunday morning, for the second straight day.

From Sunday to Monday, heavy snow and strong winds will hit Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning, with snow as deep as 20 cm in some regions, the NMC said.

Snow will continue to move eastward on Monday and abate significantly on Tuesday.

China's meteorological disaster alerts are categorized as blue, yellow, orange and red as the severity of disasters ascends.

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