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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 February 2008, 12:03 GMT
Storm-hit China calls for 'faith'
Hundreds of thousands have been stranded at railway stations

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has urged people to "have faith" that some of the worst snow storms in 50 years can be overcome, state media says.

Mr Wen called the extreme weather a "severe natural disaster" as he travelled to Hunan province, one of the worst-affected.

The weather has caused travel chaos and left thousands of people stranded.

One woman has been trampled to death in the southern city of Guangzhou, in a stampede to board a train.

Another southern city, Chenzhou, has reportedly had no power for a week, and many of its 4m resident have also been without a stable water supply for days.

Furious clashes

Elsewhere in Hunan province, heavy fog further paralysed the transport network, delaying flights and road traffic.


Elsewhere, travellers clashed with police and soldiers after being stranded on Sunday at an airport in Guangzhou, the capital of southern Guangdong province.

The BBC's Daniel Griffiths witnessed furious scuffles as passengers demanded airline officials put them on another flight after a cancellation.

Our correspondent says the authorities took several hours to resolve the stand-off, and there were similar scenes here throughout the day.

'More snow'

At Guangzhou train station on Saturday, a woman died after falling during a stampede to board a train home to Hubei province in central China, state media reported.

Hundreds of thousands of stranded people have been forced to spend the night in the open in sub-zero temperatures at the station.

Two distressed passengers at Guangzhou railway station on 3 February 2008
Officials say over 200,000 sick and injured people have been treated

Travellers are trying to get home for this week's Lunar New Year holiday. For many workers it is their only chance to see their families all year.

The government has set up a command centre to coordinate its response to the crisis, deploying more than 300,000 soldiers and almost 1.1m reservists.

Xinhua quoted the prime minister as assuring his country people: "We have the faith, courage and ability to overcome the severe natural disaster."

The provincial weather bureau has forecast more snow for Monday and Tuesday.

The extreme weather, now in its fourth week, has affected an estimated 100m people, and caused 54bn yuan (3.8bn) of damage.

Officials say emergency medical teams have treated over 200,000 sick and injured people, and that 60 people have died.

Officials have warned of future food shortages because of damaged winter crops.

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Snow and travel chaos in parts of China

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