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Big snow grounds flights, closes highways

SHANGHAI Meteorological Bureau issued a blue snowstorm alert at 5am this morning but soon upgraded it to yellow, the third of a four-level warning system, at 7:50am. It said the snowfall might exceed 6 millimeters today and warned people of slick road.

A yellow road icing alert was already issued last night.

Hundreds of flights were delayed due to the snowstorm, according to the city's two airports. China Eastern Airlines said their flights from Shanghai were most delayed, so were those from Nanjing, Nanchang, Hangzhou, Changsha, Hefei and Wuhan which were also hit by the snowstorm.

By 9am this morning, 73 domestic flights were delayed at the Hongqiao Airport and 27 were delayed at the Pudong International Airport with one cancelled. About 10 international flights were delayed at the Pudong airport, said Shanghai airport authority.

The intercity coach lines were also halted by the storm with at least 150 buses from Shanghai to Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Anhui and Jiangxi provinces canceled, aggravating the Spring Festival transport crunch.

Local Highway G50 and part of G1501, G60 and G15 have been reportedly closed.

Shanghai experienced its biggest snowstorm in history in 2008 when 17 millimeters of snowfall was recorded in the city's Chongming Island and an orange snow alert was issued at that time.


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