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November 14, 2009

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Bad weather cuts local transport links to north

THE blizzards that have buried north China also crippled Shanghai's inter-provincial transportation system yesterday, inconveniencing thousands of passengers as dozens of trains, buses and flights were delayed or canceled.

At least 24 trains were affected by the heavy weather, said the Shanghai Railway Station, which operates lines heading north. The longest delay was more than 12 hours, said Stationmaster Lu Haifeng.

But thanks to the station's emergency practices, there weren't may passengers in the waiting rooms.

"The passengers here were just a few more than usual," Lu said. "Special windows were open for ticket refunds."

Thirty buses were cancelled at the city's inter-provincial coach stations due to the closure of depots in the north.

About 30 flights were delayed and four were cancelled yesterday at Hongqiao International Airport because of the snow up north. The average delay was three hours, officials said. The situation at Pudong International Airport was better since most of its flights were headed overseas.

Local weather conditions also caused disruptions here. Wind and fog played havoc with water transportation at the Wusong and Waigaoqiao ports.

About 157 ships suspended their schedules yesterday and 240 ferries serving Chongming County islands were cancelled when the wind gusted to 88 kilometers per hour at the mouth of the Yangtze River and the visibility fell below 700 meters.

The city's temperature dropped to 6.6 degrees Celsius yesterday morning and the cold will continue into next week, according to the weather bureau.

The weather today and tomorrow should be cloudy, with a high of 12 degrees today and a low of 6. Temperatures tomorrow should run between 7 low and 13.

The Shanghai Meteorological Bureau expects sleet on Tuesday and forecasts the low will drop to 3 degrees on Wednesday as another cold front approaches.

Local children's hospitals reported a big increase in patients suffering fever and colds this week due to the temperature drop.


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