China braces for worst cold front in decades

Beijing, Jan 23 (IANS) China has geared up to cope with the winter’s coldest weekend as the worst cold front in decades sweeps across the country.

The national observatory raised the weather warning level from yellow to orange on Saturday morning, Xinhua reported.
According to the National Meteorological Centre (NMC), temperatures dropped six to 10 degrees Celsius on Saturday morning in parts of northwestern China, north China and the Huanghuai area.
China has a four-tier warning system for severe weather, with red being the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue.
In Beijing, temperatures dropped to under minus 10 degrees Celsius on Friday and will hit a 30 year low of minus 16 degrees Celsius from Saturday through Sunday, the Beijing meteorological station said.
The maximum load of Beijing’s power grid system reached about 16.96 million kilowatts at 5.54 p.m. (local time) on Friday, setting a record for the capital’s winter power supply in recent years.
The heating supply departments from the municipalities of Beijing and Tianjin and neighbouring Hebei province asked the heating supply units or companies in the region to raise heating temperatures to cope with the freezing weather.
Traffic police from Baoding city, Hebei province have also been equipped with warm clothing while their shifts have been shortened.
The cold air moving south also brought low temperatures and rare snowfall to regions along the Yangtze River on Saturday.
At 7 a.m. on Saturday, all regions north of the Yangtze River, except eastern Sichuan province and Chongqing, saw temperatures drop to below zero degrees Celsius, according to the NMC.
As most of China struggles against the bitter cold, a man in China’s “ice city” of Harbin, capital of northeast China’s Heilongjiang province, is pushing himself to the limit to entertain others.
Jin Songhao, dubbed “ice man”, performed cold-resistant feats such as dumping snow and ice on his body at the city’s ice and snow festival on Saturday, when the city saw temperatures of minus 30 degrees Celsius.