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Blackouts, school closures as snowstorms hit NE China


08:45, November 13, 2012

HARBIN/CHANGCHUN, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- Heavy snowstorms have cut off regional power and water supplies as well as forced schools and highways to close in northeast China's Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces on Monday.

The ongoing snow and sleet since Sunday has crushed 23 grid lines in the northeastern regions of Heilongjiang, leading to blackouts in the northern and several eastern areas of the province.

Hundreds of thousands of households and at least 18 companies have been affected.

Local authorities have been urgently repairing power lines. Four major power lines were fixed as of 1 p.m., according to Heilongjiang Electric Power Co., Ltd. It is unclear when all the repair work will be completed.

A snowstorm has also cut off water supplies in Heilongjiang's city of Hegan. Local meteorological authorities said the storm was the heaviest to hit the city in the past five decades.

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