Unannounced power outages are affecting residents in north-east China, as an electrical deficit that began in industries has extended to households.
People in the provinces of Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang have complained on social media about a shortage of warmth, as well as broken elevators and traffic lights.
The cause, according to local media, was a spike in coal costs, which caused a shortage.
The country’s electricity supply is heavily reliant on coal.
Unexpected outages will become “the new normal,” according to one power company, which expects the disruptions to persist until spring next year. Its post, on the other hand, was later removed.
Initially, the energy deficit impacted factories across the country, with many having to reduce or cease operations in recent weeks.
However, people in several areas experienced sporadic power outages over the weekend, with the hashtag “Northeast energy cuts” and other related terms trending on Weibo, a Twitter-like social media site.
The scope of the outages is unknown, but the three provinces are home to over 100 million people.
A business in Liaoning province had to send 23 employees to the hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning when the ventilators unexpectedly stopped operating.
There were also stories of people being hospitalized after using stoves in poorly ventilated rooms for warmth, and residents of high-rise buildings having to walk hundreds of flights of stairs because their elevators were broken.
One video circulating on Chinese social media showed automobiles traveling in full darkness on one side of a main highway in Shenyang, when traffic lights and streetlamps were turned off. The Beijing News said that city officials are experiencing a “major” power outage.
According to social media posts from the impacted area, the scenario is identical to that of living in North Korea.
To alleviate the coal shortfall, the province government of Jilin stated that attempts were being made to obtain extra coal from Inner Mongolia.
Manufacturers in ten other provinces, including Shandong, Guangdong, and Jiangsu, have already been subjected to power limitations.