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China on red alert because of unusual blizzard

An unusually early snowstorm caused by the La Nina phenomenon swept many areas in Inner Mongolia, causing some localities in China to issue red alert.

People clear snow in Kailu District, Tongliao City, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on November 10. Photo: Xinhua.

The blizzard, which started on November 5, swept through eight districts in Tongliao with snow layers up to 50 centimeters thick in some places, causing economic losses of 35 million yuan ($5.5 million). This blizzard occurred 23 days earlier than usual.

Thong Lieu officials from 7/11 issued a red alert about blizzard for three consecutive days. Many northern Chinese cities have had to suspend school for students, ban many routes and cancel a series of flights.

Snow removal vehicles on a highway in Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, November 10. Photo: Xinhua.

After two days of issuing a red blizzard warning, the meteorological department of Liaoning province, northeast China, downgraded the warning to orange. China applies a 4-level blizzard warning system, represented by 4 colors, of which red is the highest warning level, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

Snow removal workers at Taoxian International Airport, Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, November 8. Photo: QQ.

Dao Tien Airport had to close from midnight on November 7 to the morning of November 8 to clear snow on the runway. The airport then allowed 6 flights to take off, but continued to cancel flights due to adverse weather.

People in Shenyang, Liaoning, clear snow on the street on November 8. Photo: IC

The Liaoning Provincial Department of Transport had to mobilize 1,730 people and 752 equipment to work 24 hours a day to clear snow on highways. The blizzard also destroyed many greenhouses for growing vegetables and pig farms in Shenyang.

Snow covered cars parked on Thong Lieu street on November 10. Photo: Xinhua

In Changchun, the capital of Jilin province, the government closed schools on November 8 because heavy snow and rain made the roads slippery. The city’s subway system was also shut down due to adverse weather.

Snow shovels operate on the streets of Thong Lieu on November 10. Photo: Xinhua

The airport in Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang province, northeastern China, was closed from 9am on November 8 due to ice on the runway. The airport authority has to deploy forces to clear the runway and assist stranded passengers to change schedules.

Excavators and trucks are mobilized to clear snow on the streets of Thong Lieu on November 10. Photo: Xinhua

China’s National Meteorological Center on November 11 forecast that snow will continue to fall in northern provinces, cold air will then spread to southern provinces and nationwide temperatures will remain low for the next 10 days. . Chinese meteorologists say the La Nina phenomenon has caused unusually early snowfall this year.

La Nina forms when the sea surface in the Pacific Ocean gets colder, causing temperatures in the area to drop. This phenomenon causes winter in eastern China to arrive earlier than usual.


Firefighters rescue a 70-year-old man trapped in his house because snow covered the door in Thong Lieu city on 9/11. Video: Xinhua

Hong Hanh (Follow Xinhua)

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