Snowstorm slams Beijing

November 12, 2009 | Posted by Chris

Today the heaviest snowfall on record blasted Beijing, canceling scores of flights and stranding tens of thousands on the roads, according to Bloomberg. It was the third day this month that snow blanketed the city -- and by far the most disruptive. Beijing Capital Airport canceled more than 60 flights and delayed more than 120, and those that took to the roads to travel fared much worse, because highways outside of the city have been shut down almost entirely, stranding tens of thousands. Transportation in Beijing faces another challenge next week: the arrival of US President Barack Obama. President Obama travels to Tokyo today and will be in Beijing on Monday -- and starting this weekend, security measures will be stepped up in Beijing, including the prohibition of trucks not registered in the city from entering its limits. This snowstorm is reminiscent of last year's severe winter weather in China's south, but hopefully its consequences will not be so dire: the heavy snow in southern China last year disrupted power grids, drinking water systems and all facets of transportation -- just as millions upon millions of people were traveling home for the Chinese New Year -- causing $22 billion USD in direct economic losses.

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