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Hubei forecasts more heavy snow
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Four more days of heavy snow -- from Friday to Monday -- are forecast for central China's Hubei province, said officials Thursday afternoon.

The snow was expected to put more pressure on the power supply in the province, said Tang Wenquan, general manager of the provincial electricity company.

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 will take at least 50 days to repair them.

According to the local electricity bureau, 15,000 people have been carrying out repair work.

The snowfall estimated to be from five centimeters to 70 centimeters in different areas of the province .

The continuous snow since Jan. 11 has affected more than 8.1 million people, and caused losses amounting to 1.61 billion yuan (223.6 million U.S. dollars).

The local government relocated 76,400 people and allocated 10 million yuan (138.9 million USD) in relief funds, spending 10 yuan per person each day.

The 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.

Eight people have died in snow-related accidents, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs. About 32.9 million people have been affected in 10 provinces across China, including east Anhui, central Hubei and west Xinjiang Autonomous Region. Total damages are estimated at 6.23 billion yuan (865.3 million U.S. dollars).

The central government have allocated money and materials to affected areas to guarantee basic living standards for people effected.

(Xinhua News Agency January 25, 2008)

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