Snowstorms affect 256,000 in Central China

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Days of snow and freezing weather have affected 256,000 people in the remote mountainous regions in Central China's Hunan Province, local authorities said Tuesday.

Tian Shengyong, an official with the civil affairs bureau in the city of Zhangjiajie, said the snow, which started to fall on Jan 21, has disrupted drinking water supply, added risks to the power supply system and made roads wet and slippery in several townships.

About 256,000 residents in the remote regions were affected and 600 rooms collapsed or were damaged, Tian said.

The storms also forced the relocation of over 1,000 people and damaged 5,100 hectares of crops, causing a direct economic loss of 28 million yuan ($4.4 million), the official said.

The bureau has sent firewood, clothing, quilts, pork and cooking oil to elderly people living in nursing homes, Tian said.

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