Snow chaos at the start of China's Lunar New Year

Wintry weather in central China's Hubei province causes widespread disruption, affecting millions.

by
    Planes were cancelled, roads were closed and train passengers faced long delays as the snow fell [EPA]
    Planes were cancelled, roads were closed and train passengers faced long delays as the snow fell [EPA]

    Thousands of travellers were stranded as thick snow blanketed parts of central China. 

    In the province of Hubei, Wuhan's airport was forced to close, cancelling dozens of flights and leaving thousands of people stranded.

    Trains faced major delays and a major expressway linking Hubei to its neighbouring province of Jiangxi ground to a halt.

    In Jiangxi itself, the snow forced the closure of a number of roads, including four major expressways.

    The disruption happened at the start of the Chinese New Year celebrations. This is a time when millions of people travel to see their friends and family, and is considered to be the largest annual human migration.

    Chinese travellers are expected to make almost three billion trips during the 40-day period surrounding the festivities, with most of the trips falling in the week of February 8, the start of the Year of the Monkey.

    Fortunately, the forecast for the region looks more favourable over the next few days. The snow cleared from the region on Monday, and no further heavy snow is expected this week.

    However, temperatures will drop below freezing during the night, so there could be a problem with ice.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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