Workers inspect subway rails in snow in Changzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province, Jan. 4, 2018. Many places across China saw snowfall from Wednesday. (Xinhua/Chen Wei)
ZHENGZHOU/HEFEI/CHANGSHA/WUHAN, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- The first snow of the new year hit large parts of central and eastern China Wednesday, local meteorological stations said Thursday.
East China's Anhui Province has been hit by a blizzard since Wednesday night. In worst-hit Mingguang City, snow reached a record 30 cm as of 10 a.m. Thursday, and more than 30 counties and cities in Anhui saw heavy snow of over 10 cm.
Some primary and middle schools in Xinyang City in central China's Henan Province suspended classes Thursday and Friday. In Hubei and Hunan, several sections of expressways were temporarily closed or banned heavy-duty vehicles from entering.
The meteorological authority in Hunan said snow and rain are expected to continue until Jan. 7.
China's national observatory late Wednesday updated its alert for snow to the second-highest level, as heavy snow is expected to continue in central, northern and eastern regions Wednesday and Thursday.
In addition to Anhui, parts of Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu, Shaanxi, Shandong and Shanxi can also expect up to 30 cm of snow, the National Meteorological Center said.
The center has activated a level III emergency response for severe weather, urging local authorities to take precautions regarding roads, railways, electricity supply and telecommunications.