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Worst Winter Storms In 50 Years Hit China

From those defenders of the faith (global warming) at the Associated Press:

Stranded passengers wait in a snow-covered yard to get into the railway station in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province Monday Jan. 28, 2008.

Winter storm chaos grips China

By WILLIAM FOREMAN, Associated Press Writer

GUANGZHOU, China – Deadly winter storms — the worst in five decades — showed no signs of letting up Tuesday in China, where cities were blacked out, transport systems were paralyzed and a bus crash on an icy road killed at least 25 people during the nation’s busiest travel season.

The extreme weather — blamed for 54 deaths in the past two weeks — was walloping China as the country began one of the world’s biggest annual mass movements of humanity: the Chinese New Year festival. Before the storms, railway officials estimated that a record 178.6 million people — more than the population of Russia — would travel by train for the holiday, which begins Feb. 7.

But hundreds of thousands of those travelers spent another day shivering outside railroad stations as they learned that their trains were canceled. Most were migrant workers trying to leave booming southern Guangdong province — often called the world’s factory floor because it makes everything from Honda sedans to Apple iPods and Nike sneakers.

Those traveling by bus or car took big risks on the frozen roads in southern provinces, which have been suffering their heaviest snowfalls since the 1950s. Expressways were shut down in the nation’s financial capital, Shanghai, because snow and sleet made them a slushy treacherous mess.

The worst accident since the blizzards began happened Tuesday when a 35-seat bus slid off an icy mountain road and plunged 40 yards into a valley. The crash in Guizhou province killed 25 people, the State Administration of Work Safety said.

Another bus in northwestern Gansu province flipped over on icy roads and killed four people, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Several cities suffered blackouts as heavy snowfalls snapped power lines and hampered the delivery of coal, used to generate most of China’s electricity.

In industrial Guangdong, huge red banners were hanging around the train station in the provincial capital of Guangzhou, urging migrant workers to scuttle their plans to return home, cash in their tickets and return to their factory dormitories. About 200,000 people took the advice and got ticket refunds, railway officials said, while about 200,000 continued to linger at the station in a bone-chilling drizzle.

Thousands stood under umbrellas that formed a huge canopy in the train station’s plaza, while a larger crowd huddled beneath a highway overpass in front of the station hoping to catch a train. But the busy Beijing-Guangzhou line may not return to normal for three to five days, Xinhua said…

The general mood seemed calm and stoic — in line with the traditional Chinese trait of “chi ku” or “eating bitterness,” enduring hardship without complaint. But legions of police and soldiers were ready for any disorder, and the nation’s leaders scrambled to show the public that they were on the case…

But the nation’s top leader, President Hu Jintao, warned of more bad weather and urged officials “be aware of the seriousness of the situation and be fully prepared to prevent and fight disasters.”

So far, the central government has given a total 126 million yuan ($17 million) in aid to six provinces and one region battered by the winter weather, Xinhua said…

Funny how the article neglects to mention global warming as the obvious cause of this “extreme weather.” I guess it just goes without saying.

Obviously the Chinese need to stop heating their houses and other doing other such naughty things.

They have only themselves to blame.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, January 29th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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