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December 16, 2010

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Road warning after city turns white

SNOW announced the arrival of winter in Shanghai yesterday with roofs, vehicles and greenery covered in white.

Ice is expected to be a problem on city streets this morning, and the weather bureau warned drivers to take extra care to avoid accidents.

The city's road authority said drivers can call 6259-9088 for the latest road traffic information on downtown streets and 12122 for the situation on local highways.

By 9:30pm yesterday, several local and cross-province highways had been closed or had traffic restrictions imposed. There were speed limits of 40-60kph on all highways as a safety precaution.

About 21 collisions involving vehicles occurred on local streets between noon and 5pm yesterday, about the same as normal days. No casualties were reported, the road authority said.

A yellow road-icing alert, lowest of a three-level system, was issued by the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau at 2:30pm yesterday, warning that ice would probably affect city traffic in the following 12 hours.

The bureau also issued a blue cold-wave alert at 5am yesterday warning that temperatures would continue to fall today and early tomorrow, reaching minus 2 degrees Celsius downtown and even lower in the suburbs.

Gales of up to 61kph should continue today, and city residents have been warned about the dangers of falling objects dislodged by the wind.

The influence of the current cold front is expected to end later tomorrow and temperatures should climb to around 8 degrees, the bureau said.

The snow began to fall in Shanghai yesterday morning, first appearing in suburban Jinshan District at about 10:26am then spreading to Songjiang and Qingpu districts and downtown by noon. In some parts of the city it fell to a depth of up to 3 centimeters.

As traffic slowed on icy roads, queues built up on the elevated highways, a situation made worse as several cars suffered mechanical breakdowns in the freezing conditions. The Xupu Bridge over the Huangpu River closed half of its eight lanes in the afternoon as a safety precaution, police said.

Traffic police enforced speed limits on all expressways. On the S4 and S32 in Minhang District, vehicles could only travel at 20 kilometers per hour.

Flights at the city's two airports were affected in the afternoon. Internal flights delayed included those to Beijing, Harbin, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Flights to Japan and South Korea were also delayed.

Ferries to the city's islands and nearby provinces stopped running yesterday because of gales, and international container ships were not allowed to enter or leave the city's Yangshan Deep-Water Port after 4pm.

Rail and long-distance bus services were not affected.

Meanwhile, farmers had been harvesting hundreds of tons of vegetables before the snow arrived to ensure supplies, the Shanghai Agricultural Commission said yesterday. It promised a supply of at least 7,000 tons of fresh vegetables every day.


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