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Snow causes travel chaos

6 January 2010
Heavy snowfall in northern China at the start of January stranded thousands of passengers on railways and at airports. The cold snap also caused coal shortages, forcing some provinces to cut power supplies.
All four airports in Shandong province were closed, as well as 30 state highways in northern China. Beijing Capital International Airport was also badly affected. On 3 January, 832 flights were cancelled and by 4 pm the following day, 690 flights were delayed by an average of 90 minutes and 98 flights were cancelled. This disruption to services had a knock-on impact at airports across the country. For example, 34 Chongqing-Beijing flights were delayed or cancelled, according to Chongqing Jiangbei Airport.

Elsewhere in the country, heavy fog and poor visibility forced Chengdu and Nanchang airports to close partially on 4 January. Some 9,000 passengers were kept waiting at the airports. Seven expressways in Chongqing municipality were closed due to dense fog, including the Bishan-Shuangjiang section of the Chongqing-Suining Expressway, which was closed for 12 hours.

With households across the country turning up their heating systems in response to the extreme cold, many provinces have cut back electricity supply due to a shortage of coal. Since December, power has been cut or reduced to more than 2,000 factories in Wuhan, Hubei province, to ensure adequate supplies for household use, energy analyst Han Xiaoping told China Daily.
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