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February 7, 2012

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City on alert for much colder days

THE Shanghai government yesterday alerted all of its units to be ready as the city is about to get dramatically colder for the next several days.

The Shanghai Meteorological Bureau issued a blue cold wave alert, lowest of the four-level scale, yesterday afternoon warning that the low temperatures will drop by 7 to 9 degrees Celsius in the next 48 hours with gales gusting up to 61 kilometers per hour.

Today's low should reach zero, with a further drop to 1 or 2 degrees below zero the next two mornings, the observatory said. The mercury is expected to reach even lower - to 5 degrees below zero in the suburbs with frosty and icy conditions.

Today is forecast overcast to cloudy with a high of 3 degrees. Tomorrow should also be cloudy with a low at minus 1 degree and a high of 4, the observatory said.

The readings are likely to climb next weekend, accompanied by light rain, according to the forecast.

Following the alert, the city government yesterday asked every unit to prepare for the cold, especially to look out for school buses as today is the first day of the new semester.

The government also required power and water companies to secure supplies for residents to cope with the cold, the city's official microblog said yesterday evening.

Tens of thousands of air travelers saw their schedules affected as more than 80 flights were canceled or delayed at the Pudong International Airport yesterday due to a severe cold front and heavy fog.

Airport authorities said that almost all flights taking off in the morning suffered delays and cancellation. Services did not resume until 1:30pm.

Border police said more than 10 international flights scheduled to land at the Pudong airport were rerouted to the Hongqiao airport between Sunday and yesterday.

Meanwhile, Shanghai maritime authorities warned ship owners to take precautions against heavy winds that will cause trouble for vessels.


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