China has completed the reconstruction of all the power-grids that were ravaged by the worst winter storm in 50 years that hit the southern part of the country in January, the State Grid Corporation announced Saturday.
"The power grids of the whole country have resumed normal operation," the company said.
The power grids of 10 east provinces operated by the company were severely damaged in the disaster. As many as 172,000 high-voltage pylons collapsed under the weight of ice and snow. Some 153,000 kilometers of low-voltage transmission lines were damaged.
Earlier Saturday, the China Southern Power Grid (CSG) said all its networks destroyed or damaged in the disaster have been restored.
This was marked by the resuming of power in Zhanglei village, Leishan county, in southwestern Guizhou Province at 1 p.m. Saturday.
CSG said its netowrks currently have a maximum combined load of 698.8 million kilowatts, 12.7 percent higher than the same time of last year.
Prolonged winter storms have caused widespread power failure, traffic chaos and crop damages.
The government has put the direct economic losses from the disaster at 150 billion yuan (21 billion U.S. dollars).
The Ministry of Finance said on Saturday that, together with the Ministry of Civil Affairs, it would allocate another 347 million yuan (48.8 million U.S. dollars) as interim subsidies for the residents of winter weather disaster areas.
The two ministries in late January allocated 1.75 billion yuan to aid those living in parts of southern and central China hit by weeks of the severe weather that began in mid-January.
The government has also earmarked 1.146 billion yuan to help people in these areas rebuild their houses.
(Xinhua News Agency March 9, 2008)