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China works to keep transport routes clear amid heavy snow

Aerial photo taken on Nov 6, 2021 shows a snow scene in Yinchuan, northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region. Yinchuan witnessed the first snowfall this winter Saturday. (WANG PENG / XINHUA)

BEIJING – With large parts of China hit by heavy snowfall, efforts are underway to clear snow from transport routes, maintaining transportation security and protecting people's livelihoods.

China's National Meteorological Center on Saturday issued an orange alert for snowstorms in some northern, central and eastern regions. It is the first such warning this winter and the second most severe warning in the four-tier color-coded weather warning system of China.

The local authorities have imposed temporary traffic controls on expressways and dispatched maintenance personnel to carry out ice-breaking and snow-removal operations to ensure the normal passage of epidemic prevention supplies and coal transport vehicles, according to an official of the local transport bureau

From Friday to Saturday, the temperature in most areas of northwest China's Gansu province plummeted by more than 10 degrees Celsius due to the strongest cold wave since autumn began. Most areas in the Hexi Corridor experienced heavy snowfall, with the lowest temperature recorded at minus 18 degrees Celsius.

The local authorities have imposed temporary traffic controls on expressways and dispatched maintenance personnel to carry out ice-breaking and snow-removal operations to ensure the normal passage of epidemic prevention supplies and coal transport vehicles, according to an official of the local transport bureau.

China Railway Lanzhou Group Co, Ltd organized a total of 398 people in 37 stations to remove snow, ensuring the safety of freight and passenger transportation. It also adopted a priority mechanism for the coal transportation trains to meet the surge in demand from power plants and heating companies.

In north China's Tianjin Municipality, local authorities carried out snow removal operations in an orderly manner. Expressways were closed and snow-melting agent was spread in a timely fashion. More than 600 machines and 1,200 emergency workers had been deployed as of Sunday morning.

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Tianjin Binhai International Airport reacted quickly to the weather, organizing multiple vehicles and 122 airport employees to clear snow on the airport runways, taxiways, aprons and other areas.

As of Sunday noon, the airport had managed to guarantee the departure of seven flights and the arrival of four.