China: Typhoon, pollution cause transport chaos at end of 'Golden Week' holiday


A tourist wearing the mask looks at the Forbidden City as pollution covers the city on Jan. 16, 2013 in Beijing, China.


Feng Li

For many people in China, it was a chaotic and frustrating end to the “Golden Week” public holiday.

Millions of people were left stranded after a powerful typhoon in the south and heavy smog in the north forced the cancellation of scores of flights and high-speed train services, as well as the closure of at least half a dozen major highways.

Packing winds of up to 94-milles per hour, Typhoon Fitow slammed into the southeastern provinces of Zhejiang and Fujian in the early hours of Monday, killing at least five people, destroying houses and cutting power.

As Fitow barreled towards the coast on Sunday, authorities evacuated more than half a million residents and tourists, and called tens of thousands of fishing boats back to shore.

Around 4.5 million people have been affected by the unusually late typhoon, which disrupted the travel plans of countless people trying to get home at the end of the holiday for National Day.

There was also transport chaos in the north after police on Sunday closed six expressways linking Beijing to Shanghai, Tianjin and Harbin, and dozens of flights at the capital city’s international airport were cancelled due to heavy pollution blanketing much of the region.

Authorities started to reopen roads and airports on Monday. 



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