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Bad weather halted flights in SW China

Thousands of passengers in southwest China were stranded as flights were delayed or canceled on the first day of 2011 due to bad weather.

In Lhasa, capital city of Tibet autonomous region, about 2,000 passengers were stranded Saturday at the Lhasa Gongga Airport when 12 outbound flights were canceled due to floating dust in the air.

Dust began shrouding the plateau city at about 2 pm accompanied by strong winds, said Xu Jianhua, a senior engineer with the Tibet Meteorological Center.

Most of the flights were bound for Chongqing and Chengdu, sources with the airport said, noting that 10 flights would be added on Sunday to allow the stranded passengers to continue their journeys when the weather improves.

Separately, freezing rain in southwestern Guizhou province delayed 36 flights at Guiyang Airport in the capital.

Twenty seven counties and cities in the province were hit by freezing rain Saturday, which caused slick roads and poor vision in some areas.

Guizhou Meteorological Center has warned that freezing rain would continue in some locations.

Several passenger jets are parked on the tarmac at the Longdongbu international airport in Guiyang on Jan 2, 2011

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