China’s busiest holiday travel season (Chinese New Year) is running in chaos, as hundreds of thousands of travellers are stranded while dozens are killed by the worst winter weather to hit eastern/central/southern China in 50 years.

Hangzhou hit by extreme winterHangzhou hit by extreme winter
Damage building in China by snow stormDamage structure in China by snow storm
Stranded travellers in Hangzhou have to stay in temporary relief centres i.e. cinemas and army tents;
Buildings and electric transmission towers are damaged because of the heavy snow weight
(Images courtesy of Xinhuanet, Zjonline and Enorth)

About 500,000 railway passengers, mostly migrant workers, are stuck in Guangzhou because the heavy snow fall had cut off parts of the railway line connecting to the northern region. China has about 200 million migrant workers who travel between cities and their homes in the countryside to celebrate the Spring Festival (Feb 7-11).

The extreme weather, which started around Jan 10, has been blamed for nearly 50 deaths and has affected the lives of about 78 million people in 14 provinces. The death toll and damages are expected to rise as the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) has issued a red alert on Monday (Jan 28) for severe snowstorms forecast in central and eastern region.


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