One dead, 5,609 affected during heavy snowstorm in Northern China city
Published: Nov 08, 2021 07:53 PM
Shenyang in Northeast China's Liaoning Province is covered in thick snow on November 8, 2021 after a heavy snowstorm. Photo: IC

Shenyang in Northeast China's Liaoning Province is covered in thick snow on November 8, 2021 after a heavy snowstorm. Photo: IC

One person died and another 5,609 people were affected during the heavy snowstorm in Tongliao, North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China Central Television (CCTV) reported late Monday. 

The snowstorm, which started Friday, has affected eight counties in Tongliao, leading to about 35 million yuan ($5.5 million) in economic losses, CCTV said. 

According to media reports, authorities in Tongliao issued a red alert for snowstorms for a continuous three days as of Sunday, and initiated a major meteorological disaster (blizzard gale) level II emergency response.

The depth of accumulated snow in the city of Tongliao has reportedly reached 6 to 50 centimeters.

Many cities in northern China have suspended classes, roads and airports amid harsh snowstorms as a severe cold wave hit many parts of the country over the weekend with heavy snowfalls and plunging temperatures. 

Following two days of red alerts for blizzards, meteorological authorities in Northeast China's Liaoning Province on Monday lowered the blizzard alert to orange. The provincial meteorological center said snowstorms are likely to continue until 8 pm Tuesday. 

The Taoxian International Airport in the provincial capital of Shenyang closed from Sunday midnight to 10 am Monday.

As of Monday, the airport has carried out de-icing operations on the runway, taxiway and apron. It gave the green light to six outbound flights but cancelled all incoming flights on Monday.

All expressway toll stations in the province remain closed as of Monday.

The provincial transport department has mobilized forces to remove snow on expressways. As of 8 am Monday, 1,730 people assisted with 752 sets of machinery and equipment joined around-the-clock work.

In addition to road and airport closures, the heavy snow caused the roofs of many greenhouses for growing vegetables and raising pigs in Shenyang to collapse.

In Changchun, the capital city of Jilin Province neighboring Liaoning, authorities closed schools and kindergartens on Monday as heavy snow and icy rain made roads slippery. The city's metro system was shut down due to the adverse weather.

The airport in Harbin, capital of Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, was closed from 9 am Monday due to ice on the runway. The airport authority said it would remain closed until Tuesday noon.

The airport authority has deployed forces to clear the runway and helped stranded passengers change schedules. 

China has a four-tier color-coded weather warning system for snowstorms with red representing the most severe, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

China's National Meteorological Center on Sunday continued to issue an orange alert for snowstorms in the northern regions. Snowstorms were forecast to hit parts of Inner Mongolia, Hebei, Tianjin, Shandong, Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang until the wee hours of Monday, reported the Xinhua News Agency.

Large parts of the country, including Tianjin and Hebei Province, experienced the winter's first significant snowfall and rain on Saturday, the China Meteorological Administration said in a notice on Sunday.

Meteorologists said the cold wave will continue south, and temperatures nationwide will remain low for the next 10 days. The climate phenomenon known as La Niña brought the unusually early snow, they explained.

Global Times