China Storms Strand Millions

Country still at standstill from rare snow onslaught
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2008 9:14 AM CST
Thousands of passengers wait to get inside the Guangzhou Railway station in Guangzhou, in south China's Guangdong province Friday, Feb. 1, 2008. Hundreds of thousands of desperate travelers, some hoisting...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Close to six million people are trapped in train stations throughout China today, as freak snow storms continue to buffet the country. So far, the storms have killed at least 60, and caused $53.8 billion yuan ($7.5 billion) in damages, the Civil Affairs Ministry announced today. That damage doesn’t count stock losses, which have been rampant, the AP reports.

The storms are the worst China has seen in five decades, and they hit just as millions were rushing to travel for the lunar new year. Now whole cities are in darkness, thanks to downed power lines, and trains are focusing on carrying coal when they can travel at all.  But don’t worry Olympic fans—Beijing and its environs are high and dry.