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Last updated at 15:37 GMT, Monday, 04 January 2010

Beijing hit by record snowfall

Summary

4th January 2010

Schools have been closed in the Chinese capital Beijing and flights cancelled due to heavy snow. About 33cm of snow has covered parts of Beijing, the most since 1951.

Reporter:
Quentin Sommerville

Snow in Beijing

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Thousands were left stranded for a second day after the cold weather brought severe disruption to transport across the country.

Some 30 highways have closed in the north of China and in Beijing the city's Capital airport saw 90% of flights cancelled or delayed on Sunday. By early Monday, around 40% of flights had been disrupted.

In some parts of Beijing, 33cm of snow fell, the heaviest in more than half a century. Volunteers have taken to the streets with snow-shovels to clear the drifts. School children saw their new year holiday extended by the severe weather. Here and in neighbouring Tianjin they were given the day off.

More snow is expected across the north of China, although Beijing is expected to remain clear, but temperatures in the capital, already at minus 14, could drop even further.

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Grammar

left stranded

stuck in the middle of a journey, not able to continue and not able to go back

severe disruption

very bad interference with normal services meaning roads are closed and train and air services reduced

Some

Approximately

Volunteers

Members of the public who choose to help without being paid

snow-shovels

hand-held tools used to pick up and move snow

the drifts

the piles of fallen snow

extended

made longer

could drop even further

might get lower

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