Beijing shuts highways after heavy snowfall

AFP

Authorities in Beijing shut some highways on Wednesday after heavier-than-expected snowfall hit the Chinese capital, part of a cold spell sweeping many parts of the country this week.

With freezing rain and snow expected to last until Monday, officials boosted public transport arrangements in the sprawling city of nearly 22 million and shut eight highways, state broadcaster CCTV said.

Mountainous areas were still receiving snowfall, though it had stopped in urban areas.

Tuesday evening's snowfall lasted longer and was heavier than forecast after a confluence of humid air currents from the south and a cold mass of air moving slowly eastward, an observatory official told the Beijing Daily newspaper.

With flexible work hours offered by some employers, some people could spend more time taking in the scenery.

The bad weather forced the closure of almost 200 stretches of road nationwide, CCTV said.

The National Meteorological Center is predicting subzero temperatures in the coming week for numerous areas.

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