Heavy snow in north and central China disrupts travel, schools and kills one

Workers remove snow from greenhouses in Huai'an, in eastern China's Jiangsu province on Feb 21, 2024. - AFP

BEIJING: Heavy snow has blanketed northern and central China, disrupting travel and forcing schools to cancel classes.

One person was killed on Wednesday (Feb 21) in a roof collapse at a supermarket in Hebei province, state broadcaster CCTV said.

Flights and intercity trains on which many of China’s commuters rely were delayed or cancelled. Authorities in several provinces issued severe weather warnings.

Tens of thousands of workers with brooms and shovels were deployed, assisted by snowplows in the hardest-hit regions.

About 5cm (2 inches) of snow fell overnight in the capital, Beijing, which hosted the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

The severe weather started in western China last weekend, with snowstorms and sandstorms closing roads and stranding drivers, many returning home at the end of a weeklong Lunar New Year holiday.

In neighbouring Mongolia, more than 650,000 livestock have been killed by extreme winter weather, China's Xinhua News Agency reported earlier this week, citing the Mongolian emergency management agency.

Heavy snow and severe cold have struck across much of of northeast Asia this winter.

Heavy snow disrupted trains and grounded more than 100 flights in the Tokyo area earlier this month, and snow and freezing rain trapped thousands of motorists in central China as they headed home ahead of Lunar New Year.

Last month, tourists were evacuated from a ski resort in western China after avalanches trapped more than 1,000 people for a week. - AP

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