53 die as a result of China snowstorms
Central China has been hit by one of its heaviest snow storms in 50 years. At least 53 people have died either directly or indirectly as a result of the weather.
And so far more than 40m people in ten provinces are without electricity or tap water.
At a factory in Wuhan, three workers were killed when the roof collapsed. There have already been eight fatalities in Wuhan as the result of the heavy snow fall. More than 11,000 buildings have collapsed and about 76,000 people have been evacuated.
In addition, 8m people have been affected by power and water shortages in the last two weeks.
More than 800,000 residents in Chenzhou, in the southern and relatively warm part of Hunan, had had their power and water supplies cut off for five days.
China's Premier, Wen Jiabao, has been overseeing disaster relief and the Politburo has ordered disaster relief at the top of the agenda after a meeting chaired by President Hu Jintao.
The severe weather has covered a swathe of China stretching from Xinjiang in the northwest to Fujian in the southeast.
Mr Wen travelled to Changsha, capital of central Hunan province, which has been particularly badly hit.
Early today, a bus skidded off an icy mountain road in southwest Guizhou province, killing 25 people and injuring 13.
Four others were killed and eight injured after a bus flipped over on an icy road in northwestern Gansu.
At least 24 other fatalities have been blamed on the weather.
The weather has disrupted travel plans for millions of Chinese striving to return home for the Lunar New Year, which falls in early February.
Tens of thousands were gathered in or around Guangzhou train station, with anger bubbling over amid frustration that part of the crucial line to Beijing had been knocked out by the snow.
Hundreds of police officers and railway staff were deployed to control the crowds as angry passengers swamped enquiry desks and harangued rail officials, waving their train tickets and shouting abuse.
Similar scenes have been played out in China's largest city, Shanghai, after authorities cancelled all long-distance train travel, leaving 30,000 stranded at stations.
On the main highway between Guangdong and Hunan, more than 20,000 trucks and other vehicles were stranded.
At least 15 airports have been closed at various times and more than 6,500 flights from many others were delayed, cancelled or diverted, prompting some angry scenes with passengers.