January 27, 2018 / 10:44 AM / 9 months ago

Heavy snow in central, southern China wreaks havoc on travel

BEIJING (Reuters) - Heavy snow continued to affect parts of China on Saturday, closing highways, causing train and flight cancellations, and even interrupting the final of a soccer match between Vietnam and Uzbekistan in a southern Chinese province.

In central Hubei province, sections of more than 30 highways were closed due to icy conditions, while the number of passing vehicles were restricted, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The three railway stations in Wuhan, Hubei’s provincial capital, also canceled more than 100 train trips.

As of 11:30 a.m. (0330 GMT), 95 flights had been canceled at the Wuhan Tianhe International Airport, stranding about 1,200 passengers.

The airport at Nanning, capital of south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, had also canceled 30 flights as of 10:50 a.m.

In Changzhou city in southern Jiangsu province, the second half of the Under-23 Asian Cup final was interrupted for an hour on Saturday afternoon as snow covered the soccer pitch and the mercury dipped to freezing.

Vietnam, long seen as an underdog, has defeated Australia, Iraq and Qatar to face Uzbekistan in the final, cheered on by Vietnamese at home and at the Changzhou Olympic Sports Centre.

On Friday, a unit of China’s State Oceanic Administration issued a blue alert for sea ice in a key port area in the north of the country, potentially disrupting commodities shipments.

The snowy conditions are expected to ease in the coming week, although temperatures will remain frigid.

Reporting by Ryan Woo; Additional reporting by Li Pei; Editing by Tom Hogeu

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