Somber. The northwest of China is usually pretty cold. This year it shifted southeast and collided with warm wet air from India. Central and south China received less than a foot of snow. But it rarely snows there, so snowplows are rare. Worse, it was sleet and icy rain, bringing down powerlines. Roads closed, power outages, no coal deliveries to powerplants... no local heating. And all this during the heavy New Years travel load, when massive numbers of urban workers travel back to hometowns.
It's a difficult situation. Associated Press has an overview. Lots of people are just stuck on the road, not sure when they can leave.
Worse: "Eleven people were killed and 51 injured when an overloaded bus rolled off an icy road in eastern Anhui province late Sunday near Mingguang city, Xinhua news agency said.It said the passengers were mostly migrant workers returning home to celebrate the Spring Festival on February 7, China's most important holiday.The driver of the bus has been arrested for carrying 72 passengers, 21 more than allowed." I'd bet the driver's a patsy for company policy, but the tragedy is larger than it seems: each person on the bus would have been supporting a few in the hometown. It affects a lot of people.
A few inches of snow. And the system could not cope.