Snowstorms have wreaked havoc across northeast China with record falls in some parts causing traffic congestion, disrupting train services and raising concerns about power supplies as temperatures plunge, according to state media.

Traffic in Liaoning province has been severely disrupted,with the majority of expressway toll stations shut.

Train and bus stations are also closed, except those in the cities of Dalian and Dandong.

Since the arrival of a cold wave on Sunday, temperatures in northeastern China had plunged by as much as 14 degrees Celsius in certain areas yesterday.

Meteorological departments in Liaoning and the province ofJilin issued red alerts for snowstorms, the most severe ina four-tier, colour-coded weather warning system.

Zhou Chunxiao, chief forecaster at the Liaoning Provincial Meteorological Observatory, said recent snowfall in western Liaoning had been the heaviest since records began in 1951, state-run China News Weekly reported.

Locals make their way along a road during heavy snowfall in Shenyang, Liaoning province

A maximum snow depth of 53cm (21 inches) was recorded in the Liaoning city of Anshan yesterday, the report added, citing the China Meteorological Association.

The northeastern region has also stepped up efforts to keep homes warm, with authorities working to increase energy production capacity and coal imports.

Bicycles covered with snow in Shenyang

China's State Grid Corp warned on Sunday of a "tight balance" between power supply and demand through the winter.

A wide swathe of the country - including northeastern China - has suffered outages since May as soaring prices and tight supply of coal restricted operations at power plants.

A giant panda plays in the snow at Jinan Zoo in Shandong province

In snow-hit Shenyang, authorities have urged markets and grocery stores to lower the prices of some vegetables while increasing their supplies.