Passengers walk into the Huaibei Railway Station in Huaibei City, east China's Anhui Province, Feb. 5, 2014. With the Spring Festival coming to an end, people started to leave their hometowns for the workplaces. (Xinhua/Wang Wen)
BEIJING, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- Snowstorms are forecast to affect millions of holiday travelers as they return to work after Spring Festival family reunions.
The National Meteorological Center on Thursday issued a yellow alert for blizzards. China's meteorological disaster alerts are categorized as blue, yellow, orange and red, with red being the most severe and blue the least.
Snowstorms will hit Henan, Hubei, Anhui and Jiangsu provinces for a second consecutive day from Thursday morning to Friday morning, the center said in a statement on its website.
Snow on the ground in some regions could be as thick as 20 cm, leading to icy roads, the center said.
The blizzards coincide with the final day of the week-long Spring Festival holiday, the most important occasion of family reunion in China. Tens of millions of people are returning to work from their hometowns.
Traffic management authorities in eight provinces, including Shandong and Anhui, have launched an emergency response system to ensure the safety of road traffic under the extreme weather.
Highways in the provinces of Shandong, Shaanxi, Shanxi and Hubei were partially or completely closed. High-speed trains in Hubei, Henan and Shaanxi have been forced to operate at lower speeds under the snowy weather.
In south China's Guangdong Province, where 700,000 passengers are expected to travel by train on Thursday, 100 trains have been delayed because of rain or snow along the regular and high-speed railway lines that run between the provincial capital of Guangzhou and Beijing, said a manager with the Guangzhou Railway Group.
The group has arranged 100 diesel locomotives and 90 electric generators to stand by for transport support.
According to the China Railway Corporation, the number of railway passengers increased 9.0 percent year on year to 7.97 million on Wednesday, and the number is expected to exceed 8 million on Thursday.
Snowfall is also forecast for Beijing starting Thursday evening. The capital has not seen rain or snow for 107 days.
BEIJING, Feb. 6 (Xinhuanet) -- Snowstorms and rain in many regions of the country have made the journey back to work even harder after the joyful family reunions of the Spring Festival holiday.
China's meteorological authority on Wednesday issued an alert for blizzards that will sweep through Shaanxi, Shanxi, Henan, Shandong, Anhui, Jiangsu and Hubei provinces from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday afternoon. Full story