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Power cuts hit homes in north-east China

In north-east China, residents are experiencing unannounced power cuts after an electricity shortage that initially impacted factories spreads to homes. Residents of Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang have complained about the lack of heating and elevators and traffic lights not working. Local media reported that the power outages were due to a rise in coal prices resulting in low supply. The country is currently highly dependent on coal for power, although President Xi Jinping wants to reach peak carbon emissions within nine years. The energy shortage prompted manufacturers across the country to curb or strop production over the past few weeks.

Over the weekend, residents in some cities saw their power cut intermittently, however, the extent of the blackouts is not yet clear. The power outages have affected nearly 100 million people who reside in the three provinces. In Liaoning, a factory where ventilators suddenly ceased to work had to send 23 staff to the hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning. There were also reports of hospitalization after individuals used stoves in poorly-vented rooms for heating. Those living in high-rise buildings have suffered from climbing dozens of flights of stairs due to the power outages rendering elevators unusable. Power restrictions are already in place for factories in ten other provinces, including major manufacturing regions Shandong, Guandong, and Jiangsu.

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