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  China ends freeze on new stock funds  



The weather forced the Shanghai port at the mouth of the Yangtze River to close at 1 am on Saturday. The move stranded more than 1,000 ships and cancelled the departure of 200.

Ice on runways and aircraft almost closed Shanghai's two international airports on Saturday morning. By noon, only 15 of 127 scheduled departing flights had left Pudong Airport. Hongqiao Airport reported 16 landings and 41 take-offs out of 525 scheduled departures and arrivals.

Airport authorities said 13 domestic flights were canceled.

In Guangzhou, capital of Guangzhou Province, more than 160 flights scheduled to depart on Saturday from Baiyun Airport, were cancelled or delayed, affecting more than 12,000 passengers.

Many of the air passengers rushed to railway and bus stations hoping to get lucky. Mre than 78,000 passengers had taken trains or buses for the Spring Festival's family get-together.

To ease transport pressure, the local government called for migrant workers in Guangzhou not to return home and instead observe the Spring Festival in the province. So far, more than 2.2 million migrants have agreed to stay behind while another 4.1 million insisted on going home.

In Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, 25,000 motor vehicles were jammed along a 100-kilometer stretch of highway in Hezhou City.

"Traffic police are making full effort there to ensure safety of the thousands of passengers and drivers on the road," local transport officials said.

A week after a snow cut off power in central Hunan Province, traffic on the key Beijing-Guangzhou railway line had yet to return to normal. At least 240,000 passengers were still stranded at the Guangzhou Railway Station on Friday and 5,300 police -- a sixth of the city's force -- had been sent to maintain order.

In Hunan, where at least 20,000 electricians were working around the clock to repair the grid, the long blackout might soon end.

The State Grid of China said power could be partially restored on Saturday in Chenzhou, a city of 4 million that was one of the hardest-hit areas. About 5,000 utility workers were on duty there.

In Hengyang, a city of 1 million people about 100 km from Chenzhou, residents welcomed back electricity and water supplies on Friday.

Many households had run out of food and drinking water over the past week. Some had to fetch water from Xiangjiang River for drinking and flush toilets with snow water.





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