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February 18, 2010

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Ice warning for return travelers

AUTHORITIES in south China's Guangdong Province yesterday warned drivers about ice on an expressway linking the province with the capital, Beijing, as holiday-makers head back to work after the Spring Festival.

Despite the generally mild winter climate in China's south, parts of the Guangdong section of the 2,310-kilometer Beijing-Zhuhai Expressway are covered with thin ice as the temperature drops to minus 4 to zero degrees Celsius, the provincial weather bureau said yesterday.

Provincial traffic authorities said thin ice began appearing near the guardrails of the expressway last week.

The expressway is notorious for long traffic jams in times of bad weather and road accidents.

Traffic authorities said the ice had not affected traffic flow as of yesterday, but warned of higher risks during the post-holiday travel rush today and tomorrow. Many Chinese will hit the road on Saturday, after a week-long Chinese New Year holiday.

Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, embraced the first post-holiday passenger peak yesterday with more than 70,000 passenger arrivals and departures at the Shuangliu International Airport.

"We have 566 takeoffs and landings today, compared with 480 a day on Sunday and Monday," said airport official Lu Junming.

"Most of the passengers were sightseers and office workers, and we're expecting another significant rise when students and migrant workers head back from next week."

Meanwhile, Ministry of Transport statistics show that on Tuesday the country's roadways carried 28.1 million passengers, increasing 1.8 million or 12.6 percent from the previous day.

From February 13 to Tuesday, the combined figure was 127 million, up 10.8 percent from the same period of last year, the ministry said.


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