Shanghai creaks back to life after fierce snowfall

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 January, 2011, 12:00am

With Shanghai still cleaning up after the heavy snowfall, at least 10 mainland airports were closed on the second day of the Lunar New Year transport crunch because of the cold weather.

Shanghai media reported that the city was recovering from days of snowstorms that were the strongest in two years.

On Thursday, more than 500 flights were delayed at Pudong and Hongqiao airports, stranding more than 10,000 passengers.

And 500 long-distance buses were prevented from leaving Shanghai after sections of the highway were covered by snow.

Low temperatures pushed electricity consumption in the city to a record high, Xinhua reported, while the media said the prices of vegetables increased by 50 to 100 per cent.

Shanghai's transport authorities activated an emergency contingency plan to clean up snow piled on icy roads, keeping the traffic flow normal within the city.

Flights departing from Shanghai were gradually returning to normal after the snow stopped yesterday.

Zhao Zhenhua, 29, who travels to work by electric-bicycle, said the city was returning to normal.

'The snow started on Tuesday. It was a fierce storm, I would say the strongest in the past two years,' Zhao said.

'The city is largely in order, except for the slippery, icy roads, which makes travelling very difficult. I need to ride slowly.'

Meanwhile, the Southern Metropolis News reported yesterday that 34 flights from Guangzhou's Baiyun International Airport were cancelled.

Ten other airports in provinces including Anhui , Hunan , Jiangxi , Jiangsu and Zhejiang were shut on Thursday. Liping airport in Guizhou has been shut since Wednesday.

The cold spell also disrupted high-speed railway services between Guangzhou and Wuhan in Hubei province, the newspaper said, with train schedules pushed back by up to five hours.