Parts of China gripped by record-low temperatures as icy snap intensifies

  • BEIJING: Temperatures in parts of China, including in provinces Shanxi, Hebei and Liaoning, hit their lowest levels since records began, the state media said on Sunday (Dec 17), as a cold snap gripped large swathes of the country.
  • The city of Yichun in Heilongjiang could see a record low of minus 47.9 degrees Celsius, set in January 1980, broken early next week, according to a meteorological forecaster from the area.
  • The agriculture ministry started an emergency response and the national disaster prevention body issued a directive to local authorities to prepare emergency plans, as well as snow and ice removal equipment.
  • “Storage of thermal coal should be done in advance to ensure the normal power generation of power plants during the critical period,” added the directive.
  • It also called on local officials “to ensure that the national energy supply and demand are stable and orderly”.
  • On Friday, President Xi Jinping called for a “all-out” emergency response to the cold snap that started at the start of the week with snowfall and icy roads along with heavy fog causing multiple accidents on the roads.
  • But in a sign that conditions were improving in Beijing, the local forecaster lowered the severity of its weather warning for the residents and authorities said schools would reopen for in-person classes after shutting for several days last week.

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