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The Powerless Nights in Powerful Snowstorms (1)

31 January 2008

A young Chinese mother Net named Bluff II At West Gate (西门吹牛2 ) posted her true story online on 30 January and 1 February, detailing her personal experiences during the powerless days and nights in the snowstorm disaster. The following is the tranlation of part of her post:

Finally I’ve got a chance to log online. Come to think of it - we live without electricity for nine days so far. When I told my dad I would like to share my story with my online friends, he somehow found a portable electrical generator, and worked half a day to get my computer connected to the Internet. The generator is not powerful enough to keep the lights and heating on while I'm online, so as at this moment I’m here chat with you guys, my family sit in the cold darkness. I’m truly grateful for their generous support.

I'm at Sinan County town (思南县) in Guizhou Province, where the power supply has been lost since 21 January. Some high-pressure towers were not able to withstand the heavy pressure of snow and have collapsed, which cause power failure provincial wide. We have no idea if we will have electricity by the time of Chinese New Year that is only a week away. To get the damaged parts repaired or replaced under the current weather condition is not an easy task, as the transmission lines were buried deep under ice, while the paths leading to the sites in the remote mountainous areas are covered with snow up to 30cm thick and extremely hard to negotiate.

Local elders say this is the biggest snow storm they have ever witnessed in half a century, and according to the news reports I just read, Guizhou bears the biggest blunt of this nationwide snowstorm disaster, with 70 percent of the snow falls in the region.

The power cut also triggers inflation in commodity price and causes traffic to stand still, while the traffic paralysis makes it difficult to repair the power system and bring products on the market to curb excess price hikes. - It seems like a catch-22 situation.

It is said that the more than 70 flights from and to Guizhou have been postponed, and 100,000 travelers are stranded on the road provincial wide. I heard the story of a bus that plunged into valley and caused the death of 25 passengers; the daughter of my mom’s colleague who spent ten days to travel between the provincial capital Guiyang to her county town; and some people who have to brave the snowy weather to walk days to return home.

We've been almost cut off from the outside world, as we don’t have newspapers now; nor am I able to receive milk powders sent to me from my husband for our baby. With no flights and no road traffic, all post offices and newspaper stalls are no longer open for business. The Powerless Nights (2)


Pre: Helping Hand from A Handless Man
Next: The Powerless Nights (2)


Power Crisis

The Coldness: The inflated powerlines.

The Hardness: The thickly cladded high pressure tower.

The Darkness: A ghostly CBD with a handful of shops still open, powered by their own electrical generators.


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