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Key Three Georges power line restored
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A 500 kilovolt power line, an important passage for the Three Georges electricity transmission and link to the snow-hit Hubei and Jiangxi provinces, was restored on Thursday.

The 192 kilometer power line, which links Xianning in central Hubei Province and Mengshan in the eastern Jiangxi Province, was functioning on Thursday afternoon after it broke down on Jan. 20, eight days ahead of schedule, according to the Hubei Provicial Power Grid Company.

The restoration will promote power supplies in the reconstruction in Jiangxi, one of the worst-hit provinces by the snow, the company said.

In total, 28 towers collapsed or were badly destroyed after the line's breakdown. If not restored in time, electricity transmission from the Three Georges to the eastern and southern areas would be seriously affected.

Some 2,300 electricians and 600 soldiers worked on the repairs during the recent Spring Festival holiday between Feb. 7 and Feb. 12.

The Disaster Relief and Emergency Command Center under the State Council said on Monday the State Grid Corporation of China and China Southern Power Grid should expedite efforts to get the electricity back on for all snow-stricken regions by the end of March.

The restoration of the grid has reached a challenging stage, since the remaining damage is mostly located in remote mountainous areas.

The severe winter weather, the worst in five decades, killed 107 people and caused 111.1 billion yuan (15.54 billion U.S. dollars) in direct economic loss. In all, 21 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities have been affected.

(Xinhua News Agency February 22, 2008)

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