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Chongqing Railway Sector Activates Emergency Response Amid Heavy Snow, Freezing Rain

By KENNY DONG|Feb 07,2024

Chongqing - China has been contending with its most significant snow and ice storms since 2009 in the central and eastern regions. According to the National Meteorological Center, from February 8, rainfall in the south will weaken and diminish. 

As New Year's Eve approaches, most areas are expected to welcome the Lunar New Year with clear and fine weather, accompanied by a gradual rise in temperatures.

Workers of Wuhan are clearing train tracks covered by snow. (Photo/Xinhua)

A few days ago, the Central Meteorological Observatory issued an orange alert for heavy snow and freezing rain, impacting regions such as Hubei, Hunan, and Chongqing, among others. 

Numerous high-speed trains were either canceled or delayed, leading to the closure of over 1,000 national toll stations and partial blockages on certain highways, leaving a considerable number of passengers stranded at railway stations during the peak of the Spring Festival travel rush.

The Central Meteorological Observatory noted that the ongoing snowfall is extensive and enduring, featuring broad snow cover, widespread freezing rain, and significant cumulative precipitation in certain areas. Accumulated snowfall across the central and eastern regions ranges from 10 to 20 millimeters, with some areas exceeding 30 millimeters.

On February 3, the Emergency Management Department raised the emergency response to Level III for low-temperature snow and ice storms in Hubei and Anhui provinces. Hunan was added on February 4. 

Meanwhile, eight provinces, including Henan and Chongqing, remain at Level IV warning. Level IV entails preparation for protective measures, while Level III mandates the implementation of related measures by the government.

Chongqing's railway sector has swiftly launched an emergency response, enhancing inter-agency coordination and preparing to address widespread train delays and cancellations. 

Chongqing Station has adjusted train schedules and set up refund and ticket change facilities. Additionally, the Chongqing Passenger Segment has bolstered inspections of emergency supplies before train departures, focusing on items like emergency rations, flashlights, and loudspeakers.

Freezing rain occurs when raindrops encounter sub-zero temperatures, instantly freezing upon contact with surfaces. Its weight on power lines and wind can cause line breaks; icy roads raise the risk of accidents, and frozen farmland may harm crops.

(Fan Hongyi, as an intern, also contributed to this report)


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