Snowstorms affect 256,000 people in central China

January 25th, 2012 - 12:19 am ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Jan 24 (IANS) About 256,000 people have been affected in the remote mountainous regions of China’s Hunan province due to snow and freezing weather since last week, the authorities said Tuesday, Xinhua reported.

According to Tian Shengyong, an official with the civil affairs bureau in the province’s Zhangjiajie city, the snow, which commenced Jan 21 has disrupted drinking water supplies.

It has also caused risks to the power supply system and turned the roads slippery in several townships.

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

The storms also forced relocation of over 1,000 people and damaged 5,100 hectares of crops, causing a direct economic loss of 28 million yuan (about $4.5 million), the official said.

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

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