Winter weather puts freeze on holiday travel
Facing the worst winter in 50 years, Chinese officals are asking millions of workers to cancel their annual trip home for the Lunar New Year CNN reported. The nasty weather conditions have halted much of the countries transportation. Frozen electric grids have halted trains in some places for 40 hours while the snow and ice made a dozen major highways impassable, all this during one of the heaviest travel times for China's city dwellers.
The Lunar New Year is often the only time when workers in the city can go home to visit their family. "It is our Chinese tradition to go home and reunite with the family -- especially in the last day of the year -- having dinner with my parents," stranded worker Jim Hui told a CNN reporter.
Despite the call to cancel plans "for the sake of their safety, and relieving the stress on transportation" as Zheng Guogang chief of the China Meteorological Administration told the China Daily, people were still trying to get out of town anyway they could.
As an incentive to stay put the goverment as well as some private organizations were offering free movie passes, parties and in some cases an extra week of vacation.
As Al Jazeera states China's government is declaring war on the winter storm. Dispatching millions of police and soldiers to aid in the storm clean up. Chinese officals are hoping to prevent political unrest linked to the transportation failures since rail networks are govermnet owned.
On top of all the travel plans and crippled transportation the weather is expected to stay bad for three more days forecasters say.