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Heavy snow affects 1.2 million people in E China
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07:53, January 21, 2008

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Heavy snow has affected the lives of1.21 million people in east China's Anhui Province, causing a direct economic loss of 210 million yuan (29 million U.S. dollars),the provincial department of civil affairs said here on Sunday.

The snow started to hit the areas of Anqing, Lu'an, Hefei and others on Jan. 12, affecting 1.21 million people and damaging 87,000 hectares of farmland. Total crop failure was 6,700 hectares, according to a department official.

Yuexi County in the capital Hefei saw its biggest ever snowfall with the maximum depth exceeding 50 centimeters. Traffic was blocked, while power supply and phone lines were cut off temporarily in some towns and villages.

A total of 1,033 houses in the province were toppled by snow. Initial estimates show the snow had caused direct economic loss of210 million yuan, including 164 million yuan in the agricultural sector.

On Sunday, nearly 400 workers were repairing four power transmission towers that were toppled in the Dabieshan mountains. The towers were part of a major cable sending electricity from the Three Gorges Project to Shanghai, sources with the State Grid Corporation said.

The towers were crushed on Friday by thick ice measuring 60 millimeters. They were designed to allow no more than 10 mm of ice in an area that seldom sees such heavy snow.

The sources said the Three Gorges power had been rerouted via other lines to its destination. The repair of the towers is expected to take eight days.

A local meteorologist said the snow would continue until Thursday.

Source: Xinhua

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