More than 3.4 million people in east China's Anhui Province have
been affected by a heavy snow since Friday, officials said on
The number calculated to Wednesday morning was up from Tuesday's
three million, said an official with the provincial office of
disaster relief. The snow had damaged 155,500 hectares of crops, up
from 150,000 hectares.
One person was killed by a collapsed roof and 9,252 people have
been evacuated from dangerous houses. A total of 5,144 houses have
collapsed under the weight of snow.
The weather is estimated to have caused losses of 810 million
yuan (112 million U.S. dollars).
Traffic, power and telecommunications were cut in more than 50
towns of the province.
About 40,000 families in southern Anhui faced blackouts after
power poles collapsed. The supply was resumed on Wednesday after
In central China's Hubei Province, three power transmission
towers along a major line of the Three Gorges Dam and a link in the
central China transmission system were felled on Wednesday morning
by heavy snow and thick ice, putting the provincial electricity
supply under greater pressure.
Conditions are expected to worsen and the provincial electricity
company said it would take at least 50 days to repair them.
Hubei experienced its longest low temperature period since 1969.
It witnessed 10 continuous days with temperatures below 0.5 degrees
centigrade during 11 days of snowfall from Jan. 11.
The provincial meteorological bureau is forecasting further
heavy snows or snowstorms from Jan. 25 to 28, with average
temperatures below freezing. The low temperature will be the
longest time since 1954 in the provincial capital Wuhan city if it
continues to the end of the month.
In southwest Guizhou province, 13 districts and towns are still
living without electricity after snow cut coal supplies by road to
a power plant.
Power supplies have resumed in four towns and about 11,000 of
people have been carrying out repairing work, according to the
local electricity bureau.
By Wednesday afternoon, 3,400 travelers were still stranded on
roads in Guizhou. Fourteen highways had reopened on Wednesday
afternoon. More than 20 million yuan (about 2.8 million USD) of
materials were sent to stranded passengers and drivers.
The heavy snow, the worst in a decade in many places, has hit
most of the country since Jan. 12, leaving homes collapsed, power
blackouts, highways closed and crops destroyed. Seventeen people
have died in snow-related accidents.
According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the central
government allocated 1.75 billion yuan on Tuesday to affected areas
to guarantee basic living standards for people effected.
(Xinhua News Agency January 24, 2008)