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Telecom Industry Loses 1.1 Bln Yuan in Snow Disaster

The snow disaster in southern and eastern China provinces has caused losses of 1.1 billion yuan (about US$152.8 million) to the telecommunications industry, according to statistics released Saturday by the Ministry of Information Industry.

By 6:00 PM on Friday, there were still some 10 million mobile and fixed-line phone subscribers disrupted by the disaster, a decrease of more than four million compared with three days ago, the Ministry said.

It said that the industry has put in 580 million yuan to repair damaged telecommunications facilities.

At present 24,000 base stations for mobile phone service are being affected by power blackout, of which 14,000 are making shift with diesel generators, while the remaining 10,000 are not in service. As about fixed-line facilities, 150,000 poles have collapsed and 16,000 kilometers of lines damaged.

The industry has dispatched 800,000 person times of emergency teams to repair damaged facilities, it said.

The Ministry said that the overall situation is improving as power supply and material transport gradually resumed, the number of affected base stations is expected to drop steadily.

(Xinhua News Agency February 10, 2008)

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