Beijing takes cold in its stride

 

SNOW HAS finally stopped falling in Beijing and tens of thousands of street workers wearing padded People’s Liberation Army coats could be seen through ice-frosted windows clearing the streets of the capital in the wintry sun yesterday.

However, fears remained that a prolonged cold spell could cause havoc with traffic systems and power supply in the rest of northern China.

Beijingers are used to most things the weather can throw their way, but the heaviest daily snowfall since 1951 forced even the hardiest residents to brace themselves for the worst. This time, it didn’t happen.

While the temperature dropped almost to minus 16 degrees yesterday, the chilliest weather in 20 years, traffic chaos was averted and there were no major power outages.

City authorities were better prepared for the big chill, unlike the previous, man-made snowstorm in November, which brought the city to a standstill after weather management efforts, including cloud seeding, led to unseasonably early snow.