10.26 AM Sunday, 1 October 2023
  • City Fajr Shuruq Duhr Asr Magrib Isha
  • Dubai 04:54 06:07 12:11 15:33 18:09 19:23
01 October 2023

Freezing rain, snow may derail China holiday travel

By Reuters

Rain, snow and ice are forecast through Friday in many parts of China and could disrupt travel plans for millions who aim to get on the road ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays, state media reported on Sunday.

Chinese officials project a record 230 million people will travel by rail to their home towns this year, an increase of 12.5 percent over last year, the China Daily reported, citing railway officials.

But the National Meteorological Center (NMC) said another wave of inclement weather was bearing down on southern China and other parts of the country that were not used to severe winters, Xinhua news agency said.

Rain and snow rain will extend through much of the week, the centee forecast, possibly creating a replay of transportation disruptions that occurred this month in southern China.

More rain and snow are expected to hit southwestern regions.

The center forecast freezing rain over most of Guizhou, northeast Yunnan, some regions in Guangxi and southern Hunan over the next three days. Heavy snow was also expected in some regions in Tibet, Yunnan, Guizhou and Hunan, the center forecast.

Meanwhile, southern Qinghai province and most areas along the middle-and-low reaches of the Yangtze River will also see rain or snow during the next three days.

The Spring Festival does not officially start until Feb. 3, but many migrant workers and others head home early to beat the crush of travellers.

Figures from the country's Ministry of Civil Affairs showed icy weather and sleet had forced the evacuation of more than 100,000 people from their homes in southwest China's Guizhou Province between Jan. 1 and 12.

Officials warned that the next round of freezing weather may cause even greater disruptions to the nation's transportation and power systems, Xinhua said.

In early 2008, freezing weather across southern China caused power cuts and transport chaos, preventing many residents from spending the holiday with their families.