Lights Coming Back in China

Respite from severe weather allows progress toward normalcy
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2008 11:40 AM CST
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, soldiers climb the Jinggang Mountains in east China's Jiangxi Province on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2008 as they are mobilized to fix power transmission lines...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – After more than a week of darkness, power is finally coming back on in China—mostly. With Lunar New Year celebrations getting under way, power has at least partially returned in 169 of the 170 counties blacked out by fierce winter weather, Reuters reports. But some residents are skeptical. “It’s pitch black here,” said one resident of a supposedly restored city.

“A small number of places have electricity,” confirmed another resident. Power wasn’t back in the Guizhou mountains, either. “I guess we’ll have to have the celebrations in darkness,” said one resident of a tiny town there. “We can’t afford candles.” With or without power, the holiday looks bleak for many Chinese, who can’t travel home, and aren’t prepared for the cold.