Thousands of tourists trapped by snow in Yunnan

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 December, 2013, 12:41pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 December, 2013, 6:11pm

Thousands of tourists were stranded and the provincial airport closed after unusually heavy snow in Yunnan province.

The heaviest snowfall in ten years on Sunday hit the provincial capital Kunming, known as the “Spring City” for its mild weather throughout the year.

More than 1,400 people were trapped on the road between the cities of Lijiang and Dali, two popular tourist destinations, for 20 hours with no food as rescue vehicles could not get through to the mountainous area, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

Many tourists were at first excited to see the snow before they realised they were stuck in traffic with no village in sight. Some people had walked as far as three kilometres to buy food from nearby villagers before their buses could eventually leave on Sunday afternoon, the newspaper said.


The icy runway at Kunming airport forced hundreds of flights to be delayed or cancelled on Sunday, affecting thousands of travellers. The airport resumed operations on Monday evening after being closed in the day. Eleven other airports in Yunnan were also affected to different degrees.

The severe weather caused a short circuit of many rural power grids, affecting 70,000 residents in Dali. Xinhua said half of the power grids affectedhad e been fixed as of Monday evening.

All major roads within the province have now been cleared, Xinhua said.