Cold snap causes more transport woes in China

Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:59am EST
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BEIJING (Reuters) - A sudden drop in temperatures and heavy snow across parts of northern China has caused roads to close and ferries to be canceled, and the cold is expected to head further south later in the week, state media said on Monday.

Snow shut highways in the Shandong and Hebei provinces while ferries across the Bohai Sea were canceled, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Airports in Shandong and Beijing's neighboring city of Tianjin were affected over the weekend by snow, with many flights canceled or delayed.

Capital Beijing remained clear on Monday but with lows of minus 8 degrees Celsius (17.60 F), while some areas of Inner Mongolia reported lows of minus 45 degrees Celsius.

"Temperatures will be below normal in most parts of the country for the first two days of the week but will rise as the cold front moves on. The temperatures might even be above normal after the chill dissipates," Xinhua said.

Eastern China is expected to be affected by colder weather later in the week, it added.

Unseasonably cold weather and ice storms across central and southern China in earlier this year killed at least 129 people, caused transport chaos and cut off power and water for millions as people struggled to get home for the Lunar new year.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Valerie Lee)

<p>People make their way amid snowfall on a street in Tianjin municipality, China, December 21, 2008. REUTERS/Vincent Du</p>