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Rain in south China, dense fog in north to affect festival travel peak

(Xinhua)

13:16, January 13, 2012

BEIJING, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- China's meteorological authority said Friday that continuous rainfall in south China and dense fog in the north over the next few days may hinder travel ahead of Chinese Lunar New Year.

The National Meteorological Center (NMC) said in a statement posted on its website that over the next three days, rain or snow will fall in the northern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the east part of the southwest region, south of the Yangtze River and southern China.

Some areas in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, Guandong, Jiangxi, Fujian and Hainan provinces will received heavy rain.

Dense fog will shroud some parts of north China, including Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shandong and Henan.

Experts with the NMC said the rain, snow and fog will have negative influences on the travel rush ahead of China's traditional Spring Festival, and urged transportation authorities to take precautions.

Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year, which falls on Jan. 23 this year, is the most important Chinese holiday for family reunions. The Spring Festival holiday is thus always a hectic time for China's public transportation system.

A total of 3.16 billion passenger trips are expected during the holiday, up 9.1 percent from a year earlier, of which 235 million trips will be made via the country's railways, up 6.1 percent year-on-year, said Hu Yadong, vice minister of railways.

This year's transport rush during the Spring Festival season started on Sunday and will end on Feb. 16, according to the Ministry of Railways.

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