More snow, blizzards to hit central China

China has forecast heavy snow and blizzards across its industrial and agricultural heartland over the next three days, even as the country struggles to recover from its worst winter weather in 50 years.

More snow, blizzards to hit central China
Unseasonably cold weather and ice storms across central and southern China in January and earlier this month killed at least 129 people, caused transport chaos and cut off power and water for millions.

Authorities are still battling to repair power lines and ensure food supplies after severe weather damaged millions of hectares of crops and killed more than 70 million animals.

Snow and sleet would hit six provinces spanning China's central, eastern and northern regions, including Shaanxi, Shanxi, Hubei, Henan, Anhui and Jiangsu, the National Meteorological Centre said on its Web site ( on Sunday.

Blizzards were also expected in the northwestern part of central Hubei province, already plagued by winter storms earlier this month.

The Centre advised local governments and power, transport and communication authorities to prepare emergency relief work.

"Strengthen inspections and checks on roads, railway lines and power lines," the notice said.

The forecasts come as more than 1.66 million people displaced by the winter freeze remain in temporary shelters, Xinhua news agency reported.

The cold, which has driven up food prices and contributed further to a surge in annual inflation to an 11-year high of 7.1 percent in January, had caused 151 billion yuan ($21 billion) in economic losses, Xinhua said, citing China's Ministry of Civil Affairs.

In northern China, however, largely unaffected by winter snows, a prolonged drought has damaged about 11 million hectares of arable land, including 317,000 hectares of cropland, Xinhua said.

Winter rainfall in parts of central north, northeast and northwest China was between 20 to 70 percent of average falls, affecting drinking supplies for 2.43 million people and 1.89 million head of livestock, the agency said, citing the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Şubat 2008, 12:26