China Sees More Snow, Hampering Lunar New Year Travel Plans

Snow and rains will continue to affect eastern and southern China today, extending a cold spell as more travelers head home for the Lunar New Year holidays.

Heavy snow will hit parts of Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Anhui and Hunan provinces, while areas in Guizhou and Hunan will also encounter icy rains, the China Meteorological Administration said on its website. Shanghai issued a “yellow” alert against the formation of ice over its roads tonight and tomorrow morning as snow falls, the city’s weather service center said. That’s the next-to-lowest warning in the city’s four-scale system.

Icy weather this week has already hindered New Year travel, which is the world’s biggest annual human migration. Snow and rain led to 4,680 traffic accidents in Shanghai as of 9.30 p.m. yesterday, a “spike” from the previous day, the city’s government said on its website. At least 13 people were killed in collisions on an icy expressway in central Hunan province today, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Shanghai, the nation’s financial center, imposed a speed limit on its highways yesterday and temporarily closed some roads because of the snowfall, the city’s highways department said on its website. Traffic conditions were normal as of 10 a.m. today, the department said.

The Shanghai long-distance bus transportation station said it was suspending trips on highways to neighboring provinces today and would offer refunds to passengers that had already bought bus tickets.

A record 3.41 billion passenger trips may be made this year during the Lunar New Year period, Xinhua reported on Feb. 5, citing the National Development and Reform Commission.

Holiday travelers should bring enough warm clothing on their trips to prevent catching the flu and other diseases, the national weather agency said today.

— With assistance by Liza Lin

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