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BEIJING, May 11 (Reuters) - Some cities in central China's Hunan province have started cutting power supplies to residents, a newspaper run by the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Wednesday, the latest sign that power crunches could be worse than expected in coming months.
Power supplies to some households in Yiyang city were cut off from 7 in the morning and sometimes resumed about 10 pm, the Economic Information Daily reported.
"Water supplies were intermittent because of power blackout in water factory, not even mentioning watching TV and turning on air conditioners," one local resident was quoted as saying.
Other cities including Changsha, Zhuzhou, Xiangtan, Hengyang and Shaoyang in Hunan province were restricting household power use or considering to restrict consumption, and some residents have bought diesel-fired power generators for emergency use, the report said.
In late April, China published electricity supply orders when there are shortages, with residents included in the preferential power users. [ID:nL3E7FS23C]
But residents were only one of the six types of prioritised power consumers, and as power supplies were becoming tighter, not all demand from six types of users could be met, the newspaper report said, citing a local government official.
Hunan has 14.17 gigawatts of on-grid thermal power generating capacity, but only half were in operation and the rest were under maintenance.
Coal stocks in major coal-fired power plants in Hunan totaled only 510,000 tonnes on May 4, not enough to supply four days of generation, the report said.
Hydropower stations make up almost half of Hunan's 30 GW of power generating capacity, but hydropower output was smaller than usual due to low water stocks. (Reported by Jim Bai and Tom Miles; Editing by Ken Wills)