Nasty. Nasty. Nasty. If we didn’t have to walk the dogs, we’d just stay inside our (semi) warm living room all day. We know the miserable sleet (or is it freezing rain?) and slippery conditions are forcing some offices to send workers home early today. But winter’s icy grip on China is far more serious than some missed work or a slip on the sidewalk. Here’s a rundown (and, please, feel free to add to this list in a comment):
- Shanghai Daily reports that the “brutal” weather will continue into the beginning of Spring Festival and that it’s already “killed dozens of people and affected tens of millions of others.” It’s the worst winter weather in 50 years for some parts of China. Also, “Premier Wen Jiabao said the weather was threatening lives and disrupting supplies of food, coal, oil and electricity ahead of the Lunar New Year.” They go on to document several of the blackouts, accidents and deaths.
- More locally, Shanghai Daily says, “Several highways linking Shanghai and neighboring provinces were closed yesterday morning due to heavy snow. Some re-opened by noon, but the Shanghai-Nanjing Highway remained closed.” They say Qingpu District had 5 cm of snow, the most in the city. Xuhui had 2 cm, according to the report, but we didn’t notice any accumulation until this morning, and what we have now we really wouldn’t call “snow.” The story also talks about some local travel delays.
- Weather has 150,000 people stranded at a train station in Guangzhou, and that number could reach 600,000, reports Reuters. Shanghaiist would like to echo Premier Wen Jiabao’s call to local officials: “Urgently mobilize and work as one to wage this tough battle against disaster! Ensure that the people enjoy a joyful and auspicious Spring Festival!”
- Diesel trains are being dispatched to help move electric trains stalled due to power outages, says rednet.cn.
- The London Times reports on “China’s worst-ever power shortage.”
- China has issued a “level 2” weather alert, reports Bloomberg.
And as we were compiling this, the stuff falling outside our window has changed from sleet to snow. Time to take the dogs out.
A few more photos here. Post your winter weather pics on our Contribute Page.
UPDATE: If you were wondering, looks like our weather might get a little better come February 3.
UPDATE II: Two more from Shanghai Daily:
City issues ‘orange’ road-freeze alert
Snow pushes city to cancel long-distance trains
UPDATE III: 37 houses collapse under snow in Shanghai