Record Cold Spell in Beijing Complicates Travel and Earthquake Rescue Efforts

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CNN reports that from December 11 through December 24, Beijing experienced nearly 13 straight days of below zero temperatures, at 300 hours, the longest consecutive streak of sub-zero temperatures since consistent record keeping began in 1951.

“Since temperature first dropped to below zero degrees on December 11, the temperature had remained below that line for more than 300 hours,” Beijing Daily wrote.

The extended winter cold wave began earlier in Northern China, sweeping out of the Russia and Mongolia.

Heating systems in many areas struggled to stay online and even failed in several towns China’s central Henan province, writes CNN:

In the city of Jiaozuo, heating was partially halted after a dysfunction at the Wanfang power plant on Friday.

Two other cities in the province, Puyang and Pingdingshan, have cut heating to most government buildings and state-owned enterprises since Friday to “prioritize limited heating resources for hospitals, schools and residential buildings,” according to statements from the two cities’ governments.

The freezing temperatures and accompanying snow disrupted the public train service in Beijing, where at least one rail accident occurred, injuring dozens of people.

“Hundreds of commuters, dozens of them with fractured bones, were sent to the hospital in Beijing earlier this month after two trains collided on a busy metro line during snowy conditions, the city’s transportation authority said,” wrote CNN. “The bitter temperatures also hampered rescue efforts after a deadly earthquake this month in northwest Gansu province.”

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