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North China digging out from paralyzing snowfall

By Zha Minjie (Shanghai Daily)

16:01, November 05, 2012

HEAVY snowfall continued to paralyze Beijing and parts of northern China, with record amounts of precipitation in some areas and soldiers called out to bring food and water to stranded motorists and try to dig out their snowbound vehicles.

Air, rail and highway traffic was heavily impacted and more snow is expected this week in some areas.

Beijing authorities released a citywide orange alert and a regional red alert concerning blizzards early yesterday morning as a cold spell swept across northern China, Xinhua news agency reported.

China has a four-tier color-coded snow warning system: red, orange, yellow and blue, with red being the most serious.

By 10am, the capital had received an average daily precipitation of over 58 mm, a post-1951 record for the city during the November-March winter period, according to the Beijing Meteorological Center.

In the Fenghuangling region of Haidian District, the snowfall has lasted for over 40 hours and brought the maximum precipitation up to 96 mm, Xinhua said.

A Shanghai Daily reporter, on a trip to Beijing, said old towns in the Beijing area were flooded and road conditions were bad.

Heavy snow will continue today in central and eastern parts of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, northern and western parts of Hebei Province, and most parts of Beijing, with some regions seeing snowstorms reaching 30 mm, the National Meteorological Center said.

Yesterday, blizzards brought by the strong wind whipped through Beijing's western regions. And the accumulated snow reached knee-height, said Weibo posters.

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