List | China Events | Culture of China | Festivals in China | History of China | Land of China | Chinese Architecture | Chinese Medicine | People in China | China Tales | Buddhism & Daoism | Feng Shui | Mysticism | Martial Arts | Chinese Food

Home >> China Events

The Powerless Nights in Powerful Snowstorms (2)

4 February 2008

In subtropical Guizhou Province, normally there is no need for having heating devices at home in winter, but now it becomes imperative for us to get iron heating stoves or hot-water bags. Charcoals were initially sold for 300 yuans per hundred kilograms, on the second day of the power cut, the price went up to 500 yuans. And it keeps rising, from 800 yuans, 1000 yuans to 1200 yuans (AUD$200), although there is news saying some of those who demanded high price have been fined. The another high demand product is candle, which was 40 cents each previously. Since the power cut the price at one point soared ten-fold. There is no fuel at petrol stations, and you’ll have to purchase it from black market, which cost 8 yuans per litre.

Many restaurants have shut down, while those still open, they have to make rice noodle and tofu in old ways - with stone grinder. Fortunately, the mobile connections are still active, the problem is how to find a place to recharge batteries.

According to my mother’s friend working at the Food Bureau, there are only about 10 tons of rice in the city, as without power, the fresh rice crops cannot be threshed. Vegetables are scarce, since few peasants are able to come to the town to sell the fresh cuts. Water pipes have frozen, and we have to use hot water to thaw the pipe.

Life is tough right now, but what makes me truly miserable is when I see my six-month old baby running fever, having diarrhea by catching cold. I lit a charcoal fire in the room, which can only raise the temperature to about 8 or 10°C. Even so, there is too much smoke from the fire for the baby, and I have to carry her outside from time to time. Her voice becomes hoarse from crying day and night, and my heart is broken. For a while I was so depressed that I felt I had been stranded on a desolate island.

Today I have a chance to read news on the Internet and learned Premier Wen is visiting disaster areas in Human and President Hu is working on the emergency plan to restore power supplies, while Net friends from northern provinces have posted tips on how to survive a cold spell. All these make me feel the warmth in the heart, as I realise I’m not alone. There are so many people who do care about us.


Pre: The Powerless Nights (1)
Next: Chinese New Year's Eve Dinner


A Community

Monkeys huddling together to survive the snowstorms in sub-tropical Guizhou Province

(Photo by 秦刚,


Copyright © 2005-2017