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Snow-hit travel resumes

[ 2010-11-15 13:44]     字号 [] [] []  
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Transport resumed on Sunday at airports and on highways in Northeast China after they had been forced to close due to heavy snow, stranding tens of thousands of travelers in the region.

The bad weather began late on Thursday, when snow storms swept Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning provinces and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, leaving up to 50 centimeters of snow on the ground in places.

Sixty flights had been delayed as a result of the snow and 22 others were canceled at Taiping International Airport in Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang, Duan Haitao, a publicity officer with China Southern Airlines, told China Daily on Sunday.

The airport resumed operations at 7:30 pm on Saturday.

All five major highways in Heilongjiang reopened at 10 am on Sunday. They had been closed since Thursday afternoon, forcing 2,300 passenger coach services to be cancelled, which left 43,000 passengers stranded, Xinhua News Agency quoted a Harbin highway bus station representative as having said.

In response to the snow and ice, Harbin mobilized 23,000 sanitation workers and 500 vehicles to clear the city's main arteries.

The slippery road conditions led to a number of falls and city hospitals reported an increase in patients.

At Harbin Orthopedics Hospital, doctors worked around the clock on Saturday to treat more than 30 patients who fell.

A manager at Harbin's Hada market said there had been price hikes on some vegetables as a result of the snow.

Cabbage rose the steepest at 50 percent, while potatoes increased 25 percent and tomatoes went up 10 percent.

"The affected produce was brought in from Shandong province. As highways reopen, the prices will soon return to normal," the manager said.

In Changchun, capital of Jilin, the Longjia International Airport also resumed operations on Saturday after heavy snow hit the province and delayed dozens of flights.

More than 1,000 traffic police officers in Changchun had been dispatched to ease the road congestion caused by the storm.

Highways linking Jilin and Liaoning to other parts of China also reopened on Sunday after they had been closed or travel disrupted.

Vegetable prices in Liaoning's capital Shenyang remained stable despite the snow.

"The prices stayed the same as they were before the snow. Our produce was brought in several days ago. Although the highways closed, we had enough in stock for our customers," Lin Fuquan, a greengrocer in Shenyang, said on Sunday.

Heavy snow also damaged 4,000 trees and 26,000 mu (1,730 hectares) of greenhouses for produce in Tongliao city in Inner Mongolia, China National Radio reported.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Snow-hit travel resumes

Snow-hit travel resumes

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for the China Daily for one year.