Ice Traps 1K Ships in Brutal Cold Snap

China endures coldest winter in nearly 3 decades

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 7, 2013 5:35 PM CST | Updated Jan 7, 2013 6:30 PM CST

(Newser) – China's worst cold snap in 28 years has frozen coastal areas and left 1,000 ships stranded in the ice, according to state news outlets. An average temperature of about 25 degrees Fahrenheit since last month has frozen 180 square miles in Laizhou Bay in eastern China, trapping the ships. The weather also snarled more than 140 flights in the central Hunan province, and heavy snow forced officials to close parts of the Beijing-Hong Kong-Macau Expressway, the Daily Mail reports.

"I didn't expect such a situation, so I've brought no warm coats or food," said a truck driver trapped in a 3-mile traffic jam in the southeastern Jiangxi province. "All I can do now is wait." But he would have fared worse in the northeast, where temperatures plummeted to a numbing 5 Fahrenheit.

A man swims in an iced lake on a chilling winter day in central Beijing, China, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012.
A man swims in an iced lake on a chilling winter day in central Beijing, China, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
Fishermen try to dig out a fishing boat trapped in ice in the Jiaozhou harbor in Qingdao, in east China's Shandong province, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013.
Fishermen try to dig out a fishing boat trapped in ice in the Jiaozhou harbor in Qingdao, in east China's Shandong province, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013.   (AP Photo)
In this Tuesday Dec. 4, 2012, photo, a worker uses a machine to cut ice at the frozen Songhua River in Harbin in northeast China's Heilongjiang province.
In this Tuesday Dec. 4, 2012, photo, a worker uses a machine to cut ice at the frozen Songhua River in Harbin in northeast China's Heilongjiang province.   (AP Photo)
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