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Roads closed as cold spell grips N China

(Xinhua)

14:48, November 04, 2012

BEIJING, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- Heavy snows and freezing temperatures closed off highways as a cold wave sweeps across northern China on Saturday, local authorities said.

The National Meteorological Center (NMC) Saturday said Inner Mongolia, Hebei, Shanxi and the mountainous areas in western Beijing will see blizzards as the cold wave moves eastward.

At least ten national or provincial highways in Shanxi Province have been temporarily closed over safety concerns, the Shanxi Provincial Department of Public Security said in a statement.

The provincial meteorological center of Shanxi said rains and snowfalls would continue over the weekend, sending temperatures plunging below zero in some areas.

In Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, snows since Friday evening had brought traffic to a standstill on several highways, with more than 400 trucks stranded on the G6 Highway near Ulanqab City, local traffic police said.

All vehicles left the highway safely as of 2 p.m. after authorities mobilized workers and police to clear away snow and direct the traffic flow.

The NMC has issued a blue warning on blizzards for Saturday, the lowest level in disaster alarm after yellow, orange and red, while forecasting temperature drops in many parts of north and east China.

Beijing municipal commission for city administration and environment earlier said it would switch on the city's public heating ahead of the scheduled Nov. 15 to fight the persisting cold spell.
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