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Snow Disrupts Traffic, Power

China has beefed up disaster alleviation work as unusual heavy snowfall caused widespread traffic and power disruption.

In southwestern Guizhou Province, power has been cut off in nine counties because of grid damage caused by snow.

By midday Tuesday, three 500-kilovolt transmission trunk cables and 25 smaller lines were out of operation with serious damage, according to the Guizhou Power Grid Company.

The company had stopped supplying electricity to seven high energy-consuming industries and had imposed limits on other industries to ensure power for homes, government buildings and hospitals, said Chao Jian, deputy general manager of the company.

Chao said the company was organizing repair teams and seeking help from neighboring provinces.

In eastern Anhui Province, more than three million people were affected by a heavy snowfall from Friday to Sunday, with snow drifts up to half a meter in places. A total of 3,635 houses collapsed under the weight of snow, according to the provincial disaster relief office.

The snow and freezing weather has affected most of southern China for more than a week, with temperatures two to three degrees Celsius below average, according to meteorologists.

Eight expressways in Hunan Province were closed yesterday, stranding almost 1,000 vehicles and more than 2,200 passengers in different sections, according to the provincial expressway administration bureau.

The bureau said it had dispatched thousands of workers to spread salt on expressways, and to provide food and medicine for stranded passengers.

Almost 100 flights were delayed in Shanghai.

(Xinhua News Agency January 23, 2008)

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