The Ministry of Commerce has transported 1.9 million candles to
the southwestern Guizhou Province, where a power failure triggered
by winter storms caused widespread blackouts.
The candles, valued at 1.1 million yuan (about 150,000 U.S.
dollars), would be dispensed to local residents for free as soon as
possible, an official with the Guizhou Provincial Commerce
Old-style energy sources such as candles and coal balls (used
for heating and cooking) have made a comeback in places where snow
and sleet have caused power failures in the landlocked
According to the 21st Century Business Herald,
officials with the local disaster relief headquarters had to light
candles to hold a conference after power supplies failed.
In Chenzhou city, in neighboring Hunan Province, power and water
have been off for days and the price of candles has soared.
(Xinhua News Agency February 4, 2008)