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Ladywriter

China in lockdown as weather worsens

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BEIJING, China (CNN) -- China's worst winter in more than half a century showed no signs of abating Wednesday as forecasters told citizens to brace for three more days of snow and sleet.

"The heavy snow and sleet has paralyzed transport and coal shipments, and led to travelers cramming railways stations and airports and power supply reductions in almost half of the 31 provinces and regions on the Chinese mainland," China's Xinhua news agency reported.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao apologized to the hundreds of thousands of people stranded in train stations across his country -- a rare move by a Chinese politician.

"I apologize to you all," said Wen, using a bullhorn to address stranded travelers at a train station in Hunan province. "We are currently trying our best to repair the system.

"First we'll fix the electric grid. After that, the trains will run again. ... Then all of you can go home for the Chinese New Year," the premier said, bringing applause from the crowd.

Chinese media replayed the apology several times. The unusual gesture is likely to go a long way in pacifying the anger and frustrations of the thousands stranded across the country, CNN's Jaime Florcruz said.

Chinese President Hu Jintao called an emergency meeting of the policy-making politburo and promised quick action and immediate relief for those trying to make it home.

The moves are intended to show that the government is in control and taking responsibility for the situation, Florcruz said.

The weather could not have come at a worse time: Millions of Chinese workers were trying to leave the cities where they work to travel home to their families for the Lunar New Year holiday, the Xinhua news agency reported, putting intense pressure on the country's transportation network. The holiday, also known as the Spring Festival, falls on February 7.

More than 177 million Chinese are expected to travel by train, and 22 million more by plane, for the holiday.

...

Brutal winter weather has pounded China's central, eastern and southern sections. In its 10-day forecast, the China Meteorological Administration said Wednesday that southwestern, eastern and southern China can expect more snow and sleet with freezing temperatures, while northern China will stay clear but windy.

More than 300,000 passengers who wanted to board trains at the Guangzhou station were stranded in the city as heavy snowfall knocked out power and greatly slowed rail operations in Hunan province, along a line serving Beijing and Guangzhou, Chinese media reported. Armed riot police were deployed to keep order.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/01/30/china.weather.apology/index.html


                                               gallery_3_22_21209.jpg

                                               Look at the flowers

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Yeah .... read about this a while ago, pretty much sucks for them.


I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.

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yeah they're boned

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/01/31/china.weather/index.html

The weather has paralyzed transportation, frozen the power grid, killed at least 63 people and delivered a $4.5 billion blow to the economy.

By late Wednesday, 12 national highways across six provinces remained impassable in areas. In Guangzhou -- a city in the south -- about 800,000 people remained stranded unable to take either bus or train, local media said.


                                               gallery_3_22_21209.jpg

                                               Look at the flowers

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Chinese weather 'coldest winter in 100 years'

"We have to be clear-minded that the inclement weather and severe disaster will continue to plague certain regions in the south," said a statement issued after Sunday's meeting. "Relief work will continue to face challenges, posing a tough task."The China Meteorological Administration said the weather was the coldest in 100 years in central Hubei and Hunan provinces, going by the total number of consecutive days of average temperature less than 1 degree Celsius (33.8 degrees Fahrenheit).

Fog and night freezes still expected

But it expected brighter weather ahead, though fog could become a problem and temperatures at night would likely still be below freezing, slowing the thaw.

"The weather over the disaster-stricken regions is likely to turn better in the next several days, but it is still necessary to remain alert for possible low temperatures, frozen rain, snow, freezing and heavy fog," said administration head Zheng Guoguang.

He added the cold snap had caught the country off guard, in an area unprepared for such heavy snow. But climate change could see more extremes in weather in China, Zheng warned.

check out the pics :faint:


                                               gallery_3_22_21209.jpg

                                               Look at the flowers

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