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February 12, 2010

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Home » Metro » Public Services

New Year's forecast brings shivers

COLD and icy rain will prevail over the next couple of days in the city, and weather authorities are warning drivers to watch the roads and slow down.

Snow and icy rain, which hit regions outside Shanghai, disrupted local rail, air and water traffic over the past two days, leading officials to take steps to relieve the impact on travelers heading home during China's most important festival season.

The Chinese New Year begins on February 14.

"Most of the flights, both domestic and international, have seen a delay from 10 minutes to nearly one hour these two days," an immigration police officer, surnamed Yang, with Pudong International Airport, said yesterday.

Yang said the delays were mostly caused by poor weather in regions outside Shanghai.

Hundreds of flights were affected to various degrees, according to police.

The Hongqiao International Airport yesterday reported 16 domestic flights were delayed and four canceled.

The flights were leaving from snow-affected Zhengzhou, Luoyang, Beijing, Qingdao, Tianjin, and Lianyungang airports, said the airport immigration police.

More pressure was felt at railway stations, which were filled with passengers as some trains were delayed by bad weather in other provinces.

Shanghai Railway Station officials said they opened any available space to relieve crowding in the building.

Gales hit local waters yesterday and halted all ferry services between the city and three local islands, according to maritime safety administration.

Extra patrol force and boats were sent to the mouth of the Yangtze River to escort ships and supervise traffic as safety measures against the poor sailing conditions.

The maritime authorities gave traffic priority to incoming thermal coal carriers yesterday for fear that city may run low on power-generation materials if shipping traffic gets more trouble in the days ahead.

The Shanghai Meteorological Bureau yesterday issued a yellow road-icing alert, lowest of the three-level system, reminding drivers to be careful as the weather turned from rain to sleet in the afternoon.

"As the temperature is low, with the wet ground, ice will probably accumulate on the streets," according to Man Liping, chief service officer of the bureau.


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