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China weather crisis is grim

Breaking Earth News
Snow storms that have stranded millions of Chinese travellers are a "severe disaster" that will continue for several days, top leaders have warned.

Relief work was continuing to be a tough task, the Politburo said after a second emergency meeting on Sunday.

Troops are working to clear blocked roads and rail lines, allowing some stranded passengers to travel.

But more snow is expected and heavy fog has also hit central provinces, adding to transport woes.

On Monday, visibility was less than 100 metres (109 yards) in areas including Hunan and Hubei provinces, two of the areas worst hit by the snow, Xinhua news agency said.

'Tough task'

Severe snow storms have been affecting the region since early January, paralysing transport networks and leading to shortages of power, food and water in some areas.

The weather is THE COLDEST IN 100 YEARS in central Hubei and Hunan provinces, going by the total number of consecutive days of average temperature less than 1 degree Celsius. The cold snap caught the country off guard, in an area unprepared for such heavy snow.

The RARE prolonged snowstorms and low temperatures that have caused havoc in many parts of China are mainly related to the La Nina phenomenon and ABNORMAL atmospheric circulation, said meteorologists. The severe weather strongly resembles the aftermath of La Nina events. Experts say the La Nina conditions developed last August throughout the tropical Pacific and STRENGTHENED AT THE SHARPEST PACE IN 56 YEARS. The sea-surface temperature during the past six months was 0.5 degree Celsius lower than normal years. The abnormal atmospheric circulation in some regions of Europe and Asia, which has persisted for nearly 20 days since mid-January, is responsible for the rampant chilly weather, rain and snowstorms.

Snow Cripples Tokyo
Dozens of flights and trains have been cancelled as snow blanketed Tokyo, with more than 170 people injured in weather-related accidents. In Nagano, north of Tokyo, two skiers remained unconscious on Sunday after they were engulfed in an avalanche at a ski resort following heavy snow.
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