Snow-hit travel resumes in NE China

08:45, November 15, 2010      

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Sanitation workers shovel snow on Saturday from the streets of Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang province. (Wang Song/Xinhua)

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.
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