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People shovel a street during snowfall in Shenyang, in China's northeastern Liaoning province. Image Credit: AFP

Beijing: Heavy snow blanketed swaths of China’s northeastern region, shutting schools and halting transportation in the first major snowstorm of the season.

Major highways in the northeastern city of Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang province, were closed and flights canceled, China’s state broadcaster CCTV said. Elementary and middle schools also canceled classes for Monday.

The National Meteorological Center said Monday that snowfall is likely to “breakthrough the historical records" for the same period. Heavy snowstorms are expected to continue in parts of Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning provinces, with snow depth reaching 20 centimeters (7.9 inches) in some places.

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A man rides a bicycle through heavy snow fall in Shenyang, northeast China's Liaoning Province. Image Credit: AP

Footage showed delivery trucks stranded bumper to bumper, stretching 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) outside the city.

Chaoyang city in neighboring Liaoning province and Chifeng in Inner Mongolia province also closed their schools and kindergartens.

China’s weather authorities issued an orange alert on Monday morning through Tuesday, the second highest on a scale of four.