Roads, airports grind to halt as blizzards hit NE China

16:15, November 13, 2010      

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A man rides an electric bike in snow in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin Province, Nov. 13, 2010. A blizzard hit Jilin in Friday night, causing Changchun Longjia Airport and a couple of highways closed. (Xinhua/Qi Haishan)
Blizzard conditions have delayed flights and closed highways in most parts of northeast China, leaving thousands of travelers stranded, local authorities said Saturday.

Heavy snow since late Thursday has swept Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning provinces and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Inbound and outbound flights had been halted at Taiping International Airport in Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang.

All five major highways in Heilongjiang had been closed since Thursday afternoon, leading to the cancellations of about 2,300 passenger coach services, said Fan Lizhong, an official with Harbin highway bus station.

It was estimated that on Saturday alone, at least 23,000 people in Heilongjiang were affected as the snow stopped highway transport, increasing pressure on the railway system, Fan said.

Heavy snow also hit neighboring Jilin and Inner Mongolia, delaying dozens of the inbound and outbound flights at Longjia International Airport in Changchun, capital of Jilin.

Highways linking Jilin and Liaoning to others parts of China were closed or partly closed because of ice and snow.

More heavy snow and plunging temperatures will hit most parts of northeast China in the next 24 hours, according to the meteorological authorities.

Source: Xinhua
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