BEIJING (Reuters) -Snowstorms have wreaked havoc in northeast China this week, with record snowfall in some parts snarling traffic, disrupting train services and raising concerns about power supplies as temperatures plunge, state media reported on Wednesday.
Traffic in Liaoning province has been severely disrupted, with the majority of expressway toll stations shut as of Tuesday. Train and bus stations were also closed, except those in the cities of Dalian and Dandong.
Since the arrival of a cold wave on Sunday, temperatures in northeastern China had plunged by as much as 14 degrees Celsius in certain areas by Tuesday.
Meteorological departments in Liaoning and the province of Jilin have issued red alerts for snowstorms, the most severe in a four-tier, colour-coded weather warning system.
Zhou Chunxiao, chief forecaster at the Liaoning Provincial Meteorological Observatory, said recent snowfall in western Liaoning had been the heaviest since records began in 1951, state-run China News Weekly reported on Wednesday.
A maximum snow depth of 53 cm (21 inches) was recorded in the Liaoning city of Anshan on Tuesday, the report added, citing the China Meteorological Association. .
The northeastern region has also stepped up efforts to keep homes warm, with authorities working to increase energy production capacity and coal imports.
China’s State Grid Corp warned on Sunday of a “tight balance” between power supply and demand through the winter.
A wide swathe of the country – including northeastern China – has suffered outages since May as soaring prices and tight supply of coal restricted operations at power plants.
In snow-hit Shenyang, authorities have urged markets and grocery stores to lower the prices of some vegetables while increasing their supplies.
(Reporting by Ryan Woo; additional reporting by Tom DalyEditing by Peter Graff and Gareth Jones)