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Emergency measures implemented to cope with heavy snow in China


People walk on a snowy street in north China's Hebei Province, February 20, 2024. /CFP
People walk on a snowy street in north China's Hebei Province, February 20, 2024. /CFP

People walk on a snowy street in north China's Hebei Province, February 20, 2024. /CFP

The Ministry of Emergency Management on Tuesday activated a Level IV emergency response for low temperatures and snow in the provinces of Anhui, Henan and Hubei.

According to the ministry, the national commission for disaster prevention, reduction and relief has dispatched work teams to the three provinces to assist with disaster prevention and emergency response.

The freezing rain and snow is expected to affect multiple areas, and disaster risks are relatively high given the traffic peak after the Spring Festival holiday, it said.

Beijing experienced the first city-wide snowfall for the Year of the Dragon from Tuesday evening. The snowfall came to an end in downtown Beijing after midnight but is forecast to continue until Wednesday afternoon in mountainous areas.

The city's meteorological center has issued a yellow alert for icy roads as below-freezing surface temperatures are expected from Tuesday night to Wednesday evening. Commuters are advised to be cautious for the morning rush hours.

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

The Hebei Meteorological Center issued a yellow alert for blizzards at 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning, with heavy snow expected to hit cities like Shijiazhuang, Hengshui, Xingtai, Handan and Zhangjiakou from Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday.

Meanwhile, widespread snowfall has occurred across much of the neighboring Shanxi Province since Monday night, resulting in the closure of expressways.

The local traffic police has implemented emergency measures, including intensifying patrols, diverting vehicles stranded in certain sections, and arranging police vehicles to escort vehicles on road.

On Tuesday noon, the Shanxi Meteorological Center issued a blue alert for blizzards, with heavy snow to hit cities like Taiyuan, Luliang, Jinzhong, and Linfen.

The ministry urged relevant regions to pay close attention to changes in weather, enhance coordination across different departments, strengthen rescue forces, and make preparations for disaster relief work in advance.

(With input from Xinhua)

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