China enacts emergency procedures to cope with freezing rain in south

08:36, January 04, 2011      

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Photo taken on Jan. 3, 2011 shows the scene of a traffic accident on a highway in Guizhou, southwest China. Affected by freezing rain that started to pelt Guizhou Saturday night, the number of traffic accident rose on highways in the province. (Xinhua/Ou Dongqu)

China's Ministry of Public Security Monday enacted emergency procedures to cope with freezing rain in the nation's southern provinces, aiming to restart road traffic which often came to a halt because of icy roads.

The Ministry urged local authorities in Guizhou, Guangxi and Hunan provinces to prevent passengers from again being stranded due to icy rain and freezing temperatures, according to a statement.

Further, the ministry sent working groups to these provinces for traffic management assistance, said the statement.

Traffic began to slowly get back to normal in Guizhou Monday morning after freezing rain, which started to pelt the province Saturday night, left thousands stranded in their cars.

Almost all expressways in Guizhou had been closed from late Saturday to Monday morning after rain that quickly turned into ice on the ground stranded more than 7,000 people, according to the Guizhou Provincial Department of Transport.

Thousands of travelers had also been stranded in neighboring Hunan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region as roads with Guizhou were cut.

Local authorities have dispatched food, water, quilts and other supplies to stranded passengers.

The China Meteorological Administration predicted Monday that widespread icy rain and a deep freeze were unlikely to again hit Guizhou and Hunan in the next few days, although low temperature would continue.

But icy rain would continue plaguing the high mountain area in Guangxi over the next three days, and the gloomy and cold weather, including rain and snow, would spread throughout the entire region until Jan. 12.

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