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As cold wave hits, China musters resources to keep people comfortable

(Xinhua)    10:57, December 30, 2020

BEIJING, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- China has taken measures to ensure people's livelihood as the strongest cold front this winter sweeps across the country.

From Monday to Thursday, the temperature in most parts of central and east China is expected to drop by 10 degrees Celsius, while the mercury in some areas in northwest, northeast, north and south China will drop by 12 degrees Celsius to 16 degrees Celsius, according to the National Meteorological Center.

Chinese authorities will continue to increase the supply of natural gas, an important energy source for heating in northern China, and allocate resources to seven key provinces and municipalities, according to the National Development and Reform Commission. Currently, the daily gas supply to the seven provinces and cities has reached about 470 million cubic meters, accounting for 40 percent of the national total.

Meanwhile, the commission is organizing coal enterprises in major coal-producing areas to increase production to meet the demand, another energy source for power generation and heating in China. Emergency coal reserves are being prepared in production areas, along railway lines and at major ports in the north, which can be transported to central and eastern China in just one or two days.

Amid the cold wave, the demand for electricity across the country is growing rapidly. The commission has asked local government departments and companies to ensure stable power supply for residents and public services.

Affected by the cold air moving southward, the maximum load of power grid of Hefei, capital of east China's Anhui Province, is expected to hit 7 million kilowatts for the first time in winter.

"Due to the full preparations, it is expected that the total power supply in Hefei will be adequate during the current cold wave," said Wang Hongbo of the State Grid Hefei Power Supply Company.

State Grid Hubei Electric Power Co., Ltd. has prepared sufficient equipment to melt ices on power towers and wires in extreme weather.

"We have enhanced inspection and maintenance of our power facilities in cold weather by using equipment such as infrared thermometers and ultrasonic detectors at night to ensure residents use electricity safely in winter," said Yan Zheng, a staffer of the power supply company of Ezhou, Hubei Province.

The power supply companies in the cities of Guangyuan, Bazhong and Mianyang in Sichuan Province have adopted a series of measures including use of unmanned aerial vehicles to step up the monitoring of the operation of power grid.

As part of efforts to ensure water supply for residents in the eastern Chinese city of Suzhou in the cold weather, Suzhou Water Supply Co., Ltd. has kept ready emergency supplies including 25,000 water meters, with repair personnel and vehicles on standby.

"We have set up an emergency water supply site in each community. If there is a large area without water due to freezing, residents will be able to get water from these sites," said Ji Yongchao, chief engineer of the company.

In the cities of Wuxi, Taizhou and Zhenjiang in Jiangsu Province, large trees along the roads were trimmed to prevent branches from falling off and disrupting traffic due to snow and strong winds brought by the cold wave.

In addition, emergency vehicles such as snow-removal trucks and loaders, as well as snow-melting agent have been kept ready in the province to deal with icy roads.

Despite the cold weather, people in Jiangxi Province who were hit hard by floods this summer were made to feel comfortable. The province has allocated a batch of supplies, including 10,450 quilts, 9,550 overcoats, 10,650 blankets and 3,700 down jackets, for people in 35 counties and districts to guarantee their basic living needs this winter, according to the provincial emergency management department.

The temperature in China's famous pastoral area Xilingol grassland in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region dropped to around minus 35 degrees Celsius Tuesday morning. As the cold wave sweeps across the area, 52-year-old herdsman Enkhbat decided to keep his cattle and sheep in the shed for a few days.

"Almost every family of herdsmen now has a warm shed for livestock and a straw shed for storing forage. We are no longer afraid of extreme cold," said Enkhbat.

"In conditions such as cold waves, if herdsmen have insufficient forage, the government will distribute emergency reserve among them to reduce their losses as much as possible," said Gerlet, director of the comprehensive service center for modernization in Abag Banner, Inner Mongolia.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Liang Jun)

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